Blair County, Pennsylvania, is located in the middle of the state; in central Pennsylvania. The county is home to over 125,000 residents. The county's legal matters are handled in the Blair County Court of Common Pleas, located in Holidaysburg, PA. The court will oversee matters of both criminal and civil law. For individuals who seek to clear their records per Pennsylvania law, the court must be petitioned for expungement.
Blair County Expungements
When a person wishes to file for expungement in Blair County, they must first meet the state requirements for expungement. The state of Pennsylvania sets certain limitations on what records may be expunged, and what situations will make a person's case eligible for expungement. Under Pennsylvania law, a person may be eligible for expungement if:
- A person has been convicted of a summary offense, and five (5) years have passed without any criminal proceedings being brought against them.
- The court has offered a defendant the chance to complete an Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program in lieu of a conviction, and the defendant has completed the program.
- A person is over the age of 70 years old, and at least ten (10) years have passed without any criminal proceedings being brought against them.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Blair County Court, or withdrawn by the Blair County District Attorney's Office, these charges will be eligible for expungement; in some instances, dismissed or withdrawn charges may instead be eligible for a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
Record Sealing in Blair County
Pennsylvania allows persons with criminal records above summary offenses to obtain a form of record sealing through the state's "Limited Access" law. This law restricts access to a person's records, which prevents these records from coming up on background checks. There are stricter regulations regarding the record-sealing process than those regarding standard expungements, however, this process allows records for misdemeanor-level crimes to be sealed. Specifically, a majority of 3rd degree, 2nd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor records may be sealed under the Pennsylvania Limited Access law, with some limited exceptions. In order to be eligible for record sealing in Blair County, or throughout Pennsylvania for that matter, a person must have served their sentence, if applicable, and ten (10) years must have passed without criminal proceedings against them.
Juvenile Expungement in Blair County
When a person has criminal or arrest records that existed prior to their 18 birthday, these are considered juvenile records (unless the person was charged as an adult at the time, which is rare). While it is a popular belief that these records will simply be cleared once a person comes of age, the truth of the matter is that juvenile records will need to be expunged like any other record in Blair County. The eligibility requirements for juvenile expungements are somewhat less strict than those involving record sealing and standard expungement for adults. A juvenile record may be expunged in Pennsylvania if:
- A person is over the age of 18 and the court approves their request to expunge their prior record.
- A juvenile arrest record exists, but the charges were withdrawn or dismissed.
- A juvenile was placed under supervision of the court, the supervision has concluded, and six (6) months have passed without any criminal incident.
- A juvenile was convicted (adjudicated) on a juvenile delinquency charge, and five (5) years have passed since the sentence was fulfilled and no criminal proceedings have been brought during that time period.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Holidaysburg
When expunging a record in Blair County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a record in Blair County, the Blair County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Blair County Court of Common Pleas is located at 423 Allegheny Street, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.
The person seeking the expungement or record sealing in Blair County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Blair County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Blair County District Attorney's Office is in the Blair County Courthouse; the address is 423 Allegheny Street, Suite 421 Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.
The process for an expungement or record sealing in Blair County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Blair 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 Holidaysburg, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Blair 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 Blair County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Blair 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, Blair County expungement requirements include an original pleading; the Blair County District Attorney's Office is served through the Clerk of Court.
Finding the Best Attorney for Blair County Expungement | Attorney for Blair County Record Sealing
The expungement process in Blair County can be confusing and strange to an individual who lacks experience in the courts. Many times, the court will simply assume that a person requesting expungements or record sealing will know exactly what they are doing, and provide little direction. If the process does not go according to the court's guidelines, any missteps may require a person to start from the beginning, which can delay the results of the expungement. For this reason, it may be helpful to retain the services of an experienced Pennsylvania attorney; doing so can ensure the criminal record expungement process in Blair County proceeds as smoothly as possible.
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 expungements or criminal record sealing in Holidaysburg or Blair County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.