Butler County is located on the Western extremity of Pennsylvania. The county is home to over 180,000 residents. The county is served in all legal matters by the Butler County Court of Common Pleas. The court itself is located in Butler, PA. The court will handle all higher level criminal and civil matters, including any expungement proceedings. When a person needs their criminal records expunged or sealed, they must petition the court.
Expungement in Butler County
Before a person may have their prior arrest or criminal records expunged in Butler County, they must first meet the state requirements for expungement. Pennsylvania has somewhat restrictive laws on when a person may expunge their records. The requirements for expungement include:
- A person is over the age of 70, and 10 years have passed without any criminal proceedings against them.
- The court has offered a defendant an ARD (Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition) program in lieu of a conviction, and the defendant has completed the ARD program.
- A person was convicted of a summary offense, and 5 years have passed since the sentencing was completed without any criminal proceedings against them.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Butler County Court, or withdrawn by the Butler County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; in some instances, a "redaction," also known as a "partial" expungement, may be the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn, and such a determination will depend on the circumstances of the case.
Record Sealing in Butler County
Pennsylvania law also offers the opportunity for individuals who have faced higher level charges to seal their records. The state's "Limited Access" law effectively prevents access to records from agencies running background checks. Much like an expungement, an individual seeking to clear their name through this method must also meet state requirements. The Pennsylvania Limited Access law allows for the sealing of records for a majority of ungraded, 3rd-degree, and 2nd-degree misdemeanor charges. Certain restrictions apply on what misdemeanors are permissible for record sealing. In addition, a person requesting to have these criminal records sealed must have fulfilled any sentencing conditions and probation/parole, and 10 years must have passed since the disposition of the case without any criminal proceedings against the person.
Juvenile Expungement in Butler County
When a person has arrest records or criminal records that date prior to their 18th birthday, these are known as juvenile records. While many believe that their juvenile records will be cleared on their own once they turn 18, this belief is false in Pennsylvania. Juvenile records can interfere with a person's education and career path further down the line. These records can be expunged in a similar manner to adult records, however, Pennsylvania law is somewhat less restrictive on the eligibility requirements for expunging a juvenile record. In order to expunge a juvenile record in Butler County, and throughout Pennsylvania, one of the following must apply:
- A person is over the age of 18 petitions the court for expungement of a juvenile record, and the court, following a review of their petition, approves.
- A person faced juvenile charges, but they were later dismissed.
- A person was convicted on a juvenile delinquency charge, and 5 years have passed since without any criminal proceedings against them.
- A juvenile was placed under court supervision, and the supervision has concluded and six (6) months have passed without criminal proceedings.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Butler, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Butler
When expunging a criminal record in Butler County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Butler County, the Butler County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Butler County Court of Common Pleas is located at 124 West Diamond Street, Butler, PA 16003
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Butler County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Butler County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Butler County District Attorney's Office is located on the third Floor of the County Government Center; also located at 124 West Diamond Street, Butler, PA 16003.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Butler County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Butler 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 Butler, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Butler 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 Butler County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Butler 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 Butler County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the Butler County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Butler County Expungement | Attorney for Butler County Record Sealing
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 in Butler County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.