From college or career options to housing and financing, having an arrest, charge or conviction on your record may have a major impact on both your present and future opportunities.
As in other states, in Pennsylvania, you may be able to have certain charges or crimes expunged, or sealed from public view if you meet specific requirements.
Under PA law, some minor violations are “summary offenses”. If you have committed a non-violent offense, such as a first-time DUI or drug charge, underage drinking, theft or disorderly conduct, you may be able to pursue expungement if you have not committed other violations within the past several years.
If your charge or conviction happened while you were a minor, you may also be eligible for expungement after a certain period of time has passed without another offense. However, it is important to note that you must petition the court for expungement; a juvenile offense or charge will remain on your record even after you have reached the age of 18.
You may also be able to pursue expungement for some misdemeanor crimes that do not involve violence if you have not received subsequent convictions within the past 10 years and have completed payment of any court-ordered restitution.
Even if you did not receive a conviction, a charge or arrest may impact your life for years to come. While Pennsylvania allows several avenues for expungement, establishing a strong legal case may be essential to help you and your family to find a path forward.