Juniata County is located within the Central Pennsylvania region. The county is populated by over 24,000 residents. There are a number of historical sites within the county as well. The county is served in the law by the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas, located in Mifflintown, PA. The court is responsible for the resolution of legal disputes, as well as the maintenance of records within the county. If a person wishes to clear their name, they must petition the court for either an expungement or a record sealing motion.
Record Sealing in Juniata County
Pennsylvania offers a few methods for clearing one's name and arrest or criminal records. One which can be used for more serious criminal convictions is the method of sealing records through the use of the state's "Limited Access" laws. These laws will prevent a person's records from being accessed during standard background checks, effectively sealing the records. This process is used for misdemeanor level crimes at the 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded levels. In order for a person to request record sealing, they must have fulfilled any relevant sentencing, and they must also not have faced any criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years' time.
Expungement in Juniata County
The most common route to take when clearing one's former arrest or criminal records is the motion for an expungement. Before one may file for an expungement in Juniata County, they must first meet Pennsylvania's state requirements for the motion. The state only allows expungements to be obtained under the following circumstances:
- A person that is over the age of 70, and has not faced criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years will be eligible for an expungement.
- A person that was convicted on a summary offense and has served their sentence will be eligible for an expungement after five (5) years have passed without additional criminal proceedings.
- A person that was offered an Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program will be eligible for an expungement once they have completed the program, and are not facing any additional criminal proceedings.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Juniata County Court, or withdrawn by the Juniata County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; in some instances, a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction," may be the appropriate form or relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn.
Juvenile Records in Juniata County
When a person develops a criminal or arrest record prior to their 18th birthday, it will be classified as a "juvenile" record. Pennsylvania offers more lenient circumstances under which a person may expunge their juvenile records. Contrary to what popular belief may suggest, these records must be expunged, and do not simply disappear upon a person's 18th birthday. A person may expunge a juvenile record if:
- A person has been convicted on a juvenile delinquency offense, has served their sentence, and has not faced criminal charges for at least five (5) years.
- A person was placed under court supervision, has completed the supervisory period, and six (6) months have passed without addition criminal proceedings.
- A person was arrested on juvenile charges, and the charges were dropped or withdrawn.
- A person is over the age of 18, and the court approves of their petition to expunge the records outright.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Mifflintown
When expunging a criminal record in Juniata County, PA, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Juniata County, the Juniata County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Juniata County Court of Common Pleas is located at 26 N. Main Street, Mifflintown, PA 17059.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Juniata County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Juniata County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Juniata County District Attorney's Office is located in the Juniata County Courthouse; the postal address for the District Attorney's Office is P.O. Box 212, Mifflintown, PA 17059.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Juniata County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Juniata County District Attorney's Office does not object to the expungement petition or limited access petition pursuant to Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The specific Pennsylvania expungement or limited access law which will apply to the request for relief filed in Mifflintown, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Juniata County criminal case itself: either Pa.R.Crim.P. 490 for summary offense expungements; Pa.R.Crim.P. 790 for standard criminal record expungements; Pa.R.Crim.P. 791 and 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122.1 in cases involving record sealing; or 18 Pa.C.S. § 9123 in cases involving juvenile records. In some instances, requesting relief based upon a combination of these Rules is sometimes required to clear a Pennsylvania criminal record in Juniata County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Juniata County Court will most often decide a request for an expungement or record sealing "on the pleadings," meaning that judgment will be made on a proper petition, order, and related pleadings, persons seeking to clear their record per Pennsylvania law must make sure that their request is properly handled in all respects, and to an exacting degree. In addition, the Juniata County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading. Although the Clerk of Courts will serve the District Attorney's Office, it is good practice in Juniata County for the petitioning party to also serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Juniata County Expungement | Attorney for Juniata County Record Sealing
A person's former criminal or arrest records can be incredibly detrimental to their progress in attempting to find employment, pursue higher education, or regarding any professional licenses they may hold. When a person seeks to obtain an expungement or criminal record sealing, they may be met with a frustrating lack of guidance from the court. Failure to file these motions correctly can result in burdensome delays, and at times, outright denials of relief. For these reasons, it may be beneficial for a person to have an attorney help with their expungement filing to reduce the potential for a delay, and to help the process move forward smoothly. With much at stake, an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney can help.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has a proven record of success helping clients with clearing their records throughout Pennsylvania, and as importantly, he personally handles all clients' expungements and record sealings from start to finish. If you or a loved one is seeking an expungement or record sealing motion in Mifflintown or Juniata County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.