Last year Pennsylvania passed a law which the Governor signed giving people with misdemeanor criminal records the chance to have their record expunged. Some criminal records can be expunged automatically but some will need the individual to file a petition with the court.
Some convictions cannot be expunged under this law. Felony convictions cannot be expunged. Misdemeanors concerning crimes of violence, firearm offenses, offenses against the family and sexual offenses cannot be expunged. Also, all financial obligations as a result of the criminal conviction must have been paid in full.
Starting June 28, 2020 certain misdemeanors will be automatically sealed. These include misdemeanors of the 2nd or 3rd degree such as most simple assaults. The person must have been criminal conduct free for 10 years from the conviction sought to be expunged. However if the person has ever been convicted of a felony or have 2 or more misdemeanors of the 1st degree, certain sexual offenses or have 4 or more convictions of certain offenses it will disqualify you.
Summary offenses will also be automatically expunged after 10 years. The person need not be conviction free during that time.
Effective last December misdemeanors can be expunged upon petition by the individual to a court. Certain misdemeanors cannot be expunged such as firearm offenses, sexual offenses, and crimes of violence. Also having a record of felonies can be disqualifying.
And just as important, once the record has been expunged the person cannot be asked about it by an employer or others. If asked the person may respond as if the arrest and conviction never happened. Nor may sealed records be used when applying for an occupational license.
The above is just a summary of the new law. If you believe you may be eligible to have your record sealed/expunged consult an attorney.
The above is a general interpretation of the law. Each case is different and the above may not apply to your situation. Again, if you are arrested for a drug or any other offense consult an attorney as soon as possible.
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