Beaver County is one of Western Pennsylvania's more populous counties. The county is at the western extremity of the state and shares a border with the state of Ohio. The county is home to over 168,000 residents. The court that holds authority over the county is the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas, located in Beaver, PA. Matters of law, both criminal and civil, will be resolved at this court. The court is also responsible for the processing and approval of expungements and record sealing. Defendants who seek to clear their records per Pennsylvania law must petition the court for these motions.
Expungements in Beaver County
In order to petition Beaver County for an expungement proceeding, defendants must first determine whether or not they meet Pennsylvania's eligibility requirements for a standard expungement motion. There are a number of circumstances that may qualify a defendant for an expungement of their arrest, charges, or criminal record. These situations include the following:
- In lieu of a conviction, a defendant may be given the option to complete an Acceleration Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. Once the program is completed, the defendant may have their record expunged.
- If a defendant was convicted of a summary offense, the record may be expunged once five (5) years have passed without any criminal proceedings against them.
- If a defendant is at least 70 years old, and at least ten (10) years have passed without any criminal proceedings, they may be eligible for expungement of their criminal records.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Beaver County Court, or withdrawn by the Beaver County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; depending on the specific circumstances of the case, dismissed or withdrawn charges may alternatively be eligible for a "redaction," also known as a "partial" expungement.
Record Sealing in Beaver County
Pennsylvania law also offers defendants a chance to seal their records under the state's new "Limited Access" laws. These laws prevent certain public agencies from accessing a defendant's criminal records, effectively sealing them. This method may be used for criminal convictions on 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and unranked/ungraded misdemeanor charges. In order for a defendant to motion for record sealing under Limited Access, their sentencing and probation and/or parole must be completed, and ten (10) years must have passed since they have had any criminal charges against them.
Juvenile Expungement in Beaver County
Juvenile records are records of arrests or criminal convictions accrued by defendants under the age of 18. A common misconception regarding juvenile records in Pennsylvania is that they simply disappear once a person comes of age. Unfortunately, many times these records must still be expunged; the same as records for adults. There are slightly more lenient requirements when it comes to expunging juvenile records in Beaver County, or throughout Pennsylvania for that matter. In order for juvenile records to be expunged, one of the following circumstances must apply:
- A person may petition the court for expungement of the juvenile record once they are over 18 years old, and if the court approves, the record will be expunged.
- If a person was arrested, but the charges were dismissed, then they may file for expungement with the court.
- If a person received a juvenile conviction, their record will be eligible for expungement once five (5) years have passed since the sentence has been completed, without any criminal charges pending since that time.
- If a juvenile has been placed under supervision, after six (6) months have passed without criminal proceedings since the conclusion of the supervisory period, the record may be eligible for expungement.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Beaver, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Beaver
When expunging a criminal record in Beaver County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Beaver County, the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas will be where the case will be addressed. The Beaver County Court of Common Pleas is located at 810 Third Street, Beaver, PA 15009
The person seeking the expungement or record sealing in Beaver County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Beaver County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Beaver County District Attorney's Office is located in the Beaver Courthouse; also located at 810 3rd St, Beaver, PA 15009.
The process for an expungement or record sealing in Bedford County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Beaver 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 Beaver, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Beaver 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 criminal 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 Beaver County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Beaver County Court will most often decide a request for an expungement or record sealing "on the pleadings," meaning that judgment will be made based upon a proper petition, order, and related pleadings, persons seeking to clear their record in Beaver County, per Pennsylvania law, must make sure that their request is properly handled in all respects, and to an exacting degree. The Beaver County Clerk of Courts office is unique among many Pennsylvania counties; only one (1) original pleading is required. Most other Pennsylvania counties require a number of copies for administrative reasons and also "service of process" upon the applicable law enforcement agencies involved in the petitioner's original criminal or juvenile case(s). Like most Pennsylvania counties, however, the Beaver County Clerk of Court requires the petitioning party to serve the pleadings and related documentation to the Beaver County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Beaver County Expungement | Attorney for Beaver County Record Sealing
Expungement and record sealing motions are invaluable not only for people seeking to avoid employment issues, but also for students who may have gotten into trouble earlier in life, and for people who hold professional licenses and are rightfully concerned about their employment. When a person requests expungement in Beaver County, they must follow the proper process outlined by the county. There are a few steps involved in the process, however, the courts will often expect that a defendant knows the exact process, and any errors can cause frustration and delays. It may be in a person's best interest to have these matters handled by an experienced Pennsylvania criminal record expungement attorney.
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 expungement or criminal record sealing in Beaver County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.