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Protecting Your Record: Expungements in Pennsylvania

Having a criminal record remains a major hurdle to a number of benefits, privileges and opportunities to better your life. It can make it harder to find quality work and good housing, prevent you from becoming professionally licensed, bar you from international travel and restrict your opportunity to attain higher education. In short, even if you’ve paid your debt to society, society finds many ways to remind you of your guilt. 

Fortunately, it is possible to have certain records expunged in Pennsylvania, thereby making them inaccessible to the public. Pennsylvania allows expungement for summary offenses — disorderly conduct, for example — that weren’t subject to a jury trial and were relatively minor overall. To have the record expunged, you must have pled guilty, had the citation dismissed, had the expungement ordered by the court or completed an Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition. If you were convicted, you must have satisfied the terms and conditions of your sentence and avoided any further arrests or convictions for at least five years. 

It is also possible to have your record expunged, dependent upon certain conditions, if you are over 70. Some crimes are ineligible for expungement. These include many violent crimes, sex offenses, animal cruelty, retaliation and impersonating a public official. 

In order to proceed with an expungement, you must have certain information prepared. You need to know the date of your arrest, as well as the specific charges, the name of the arresting agency and a record of your having successfully fulfilled the terms and conditions of your sentence. Your attorney or the court in which you were charged should be able to locate the record. After this, a petition would have to be filed with the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the case arose. 

If you believe you might meet the requirements for having your criminal record wiped clean, contact an experienced Berks County expungement attorney for assistance in going through the process. Get the support you need by calling the Law Office of David R. Eshelman today.

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