Are you suffering the consequences from having a criminal record?
Have you been denied employment because of a conviction for a summary offense or a misdemeanor?
Have you ever been turned down for housing due to having an arrest record or a record for a conviction of a crime?
In Pennsylvania, you can obtain an expungement of your arrest record under certain circumstances. You are eligible for an expungement if your case was dismissed, withdrawn or you completed a divisionary program such as Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD). If you are older than 70 and have been arrest free for at least 10 years, your records can be expunged.
If you have been convicted of a summary offense such as Disorderly Conduct, Retail Theft or Public Drunkenness, and numerous traffic offenses, and have been arrest free for more than five years, you are entitled to obtain an expungement of the summary conviction.
In November, 2016, Pennsylvania passed a new law authorizing limited access to criminal records if you have been convicted of certain misdemeanors and have been crime free for more than 10 years. A petition for an Order of Limited Access must be filed and, if granted, your records will be “sealed” and cannot be disseminated to the public, including individuals, landlords and employers. However, criminal justice agencies and licensing boards will still have access to those records.
Finally, if you have an older conviction for a misdemeanor or felony and have led a crime free and exemplary lifestyle since then, you can apply for a pardon. This is a lengthy process and ultimately, if the Board of Pardons approves, and the Governor of Pennsylvania grants the pardon, then you are entitled to have the record for that conviction expunged.
Whether you want an expungement, Order for Limited Access or a pardon, it is best to consult with an attorney to make an informed decision about the best way to proceed. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can guide you and achieve the desired results.