Once a person is arrested, a criminal record is created. Many people do not realize that even when a person is acquitted, the record is not automatically removed. Many people also incorrectly assume that a juvenile record will automatically be removed. In Pennsylvania, the only way a criminal record can be cleaned is through expungement.
With an expungement, certain summary convictions can be removed from your criminal record. It is important to note that many misdemeanor or felony convictions cannot be expunged. The only way to have non-expungeable misdemeanors or felonies removed is through a governor’s pardon.
On November 14, 2016, Pennsylvania created a way for certain individuals to get their criminal records sealed from public view. As of December 2018, more offenses are now eligible to be sealed. If you have been convicted of certain misdemeanors and 10 years have passed since you finished your sentence, you may be able to get your record sealed. Although a sealed record is not the same as getting an expungement, it helps people with prior convictions get a clean start for employment and housing purposes.
The 2018 Clean Slate Law has also made provisions to have records for some arrests that did not result in a conviction automatically sealed without having to file a petition.
If you would like to know if you are eligible to have an expungeable offense removed from your criminal record or to see if you are eligible to have your record sealed, fill out the form below for an Expungement and Clean Slate evaluation.