What is the Pennsylvania Expungement Process?

pennsylvania expungement process

If you have been convicted of a crime and apply for a job, then there is a good chance that your potential employer may choose not to hire you because of your criminal record. This is because, under Pennsylvania law, companies that are considering hiring a person are able to conduct a background check. If you meet certain criteria, you are able to have your criminal record completely cleared. This is called the expungement process. The process completely removes all record that you were ever charged with a crime. There are many steps required for the Pennsylvania expungement process, but if you qualify it can make a very big difference in the quality of your life and your success going forward. If you would like to learn more about the process, the law firm of Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law can help.

Officially, employers are not supposed to consider any charges that are made against you that end up being dropped, but we all know that there is a good chance that an arrest record – even one without conviction – will make a company look for another applicant to hire. The Pennsylvania expungement process allows you to have charges removed from your record if the charges were dismissed, if you were found not guilty, if the charges were withdrawn, and where no further action is taken. They also can be expunged if you pled guilty of were found guilty of a summary offense if you were free of arrest or prosecution for a period of five years following that conviction.

If any of qualifications apply to you, and you have paid any and all fines and completed all the necessary requirements that the court put in place, then you may be eligible for expungement. First-time offenders who have qualified for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or Probation Without Verdict programs are supposed to have their records automatically expunged. Others can file for expungement, then it is necessary to file a petition with the court asking a judge to have all appropriate agencies destroy your record.

It is important for you to know the difference between a full petition for expungement and a partial petition for expungement. If you were not convicted of any of the charges against you then you can fill for a full petition for expungement. By contrast, a partial petition for expungement is used when there are multiple charges against you and not all of them resulted in a conviction. You also need to know that the only way to have an expungement when you have pled guilty or were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony is if you get a pardon from the governor, which requires writing a letter to the Board of Pardons.

Though these rules may seem complex, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the law firm of Erik B. Jensen Attorneys at Law have a record of successfully accomplishing these expungement procedures on behalf of our clients. If you would like to know whether you are eligible to clear your criminal record, contact us today.