What is a Expungement Order?
An expungement is a court order requiring that criminal records be erased and destroyed by any agencies housing such records. This process, when successful, will restore you to a state where you no longer have any official record of the charge or charges which were expunged.
Do I qualify for an Expungement Order?
In certain circumstances you may be eligible to have your record expunged, including the following:
If you were found not guilty of your charge(s)
If your charges were dismissed, withdrawn or “nolle prosse’d”
If you have a summary conviction and have subsequently been free of arrest or conviction for five years
If your charges involved underage possession or consumption of alcohol
If you successfully completed ARD or a Section 17 program
If you received a pardon
If your charges were handled through the juvenile justice system
If you are over the age of 70 and have been free of arrest for the past ten years
If your loved one has been deceased for three years, we may be able to obtain a posthumous expungement
In most cases, you are not guaranteed to get an expungement, and may need to appear for a hearing before a judge if the District Attorney objects to your expungement request.
If your case does not fall into one of the categories which would qualify for expungement, we may need to file an application for a Pennsylvania pardon in order to clear up your record.
What is the Expungement Process?
The expungement process begins by filing a Petition for Expungement with the county court where your arrest and conviction occurred. We will need to include certain information concerning your criminal case, pay the applicable filing fee to the court, and attach a copy of your current Pennsylvania State Criminal History report.
After your expungement petition has been filed, the Court will grant the District Attorney’s Office a period of sixty (60) days to file an objection to the petition, to file a concurrence, or to take no action. After that, the Court will either schedule a hearing or enter an order granting or denying your petition. If your petition is granted, we will need to make sure the appropriate criminal justice agencies receive a copy of the order and take the required actions to destroy the records of your arrest/conviction and erase any online record of the same. We generally run your criminal history report again before closing your file to make sure the record has been removed. An online search of the court’s online docketing portal and an official background check from the Pennsylvania State Police should return a response of “no record found” after the record has been expunged.
How Do I Get Started?
The first step is to contact the knowledgeable team at Dusharm Law LLC at (717) 204-7820 to schedule an initial consultation so we can discuss your unique situation and determine if expungement is right for you at this time or evaluate whether a pardon may be needed.