Cambria County is located in the heart of Pennsylvania. There are over 130,000 residents that call Cambria County home. Whenever a legal dispute arises in the county, it will often be settled in the Cambria County Court of Common Pleas, located in the county seat of Ebensburg, PA. The court will also hold authority over anyone seeking to have their prior arrest record or criminal records expunged or sealed. Persons seeking to expunge or clear their records must petition the court.
Cambria County Expungements
When a person seeks to expunge their records in Cambria County, the first step in the process is determining their eligibility. Pennsylvania law presents a few avenues for a person's prior arrest or criminal records to be expunged. When a person seeks an expungement, they must meet one of the following guidelines:
- If the court offered the defendant an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, often called an ARD program, the defendant will not suffer a criminal conviction, and instead, complete the program as ordered by the court. Once the program is complete the record is eligible for expungement.
- If a person is over the age of 70 and has not had any criminal proceedings against them for over ten (10) years, their records may be eligible for expungement.
- If a person was convicted on a summary offense, the offense is eligible for expungement once five (5) years have passed without the person facing any criminal proceedings.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Cambria County Court, or withdrawn by the Cambria County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; depending on the circumstances of the case, charges that were dismissed or withdrawn may be instead eligible for a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
Cambria County Record Sealing
Pennsylvania also allows for individuals who have faced more serious criminal charges to clear their records. This process is done through the state's "Limited Access" law. Under the Limited Access law, certain agencies are restricted from accessing older criminal records. Pennsylvania law is somewhat more strict in its eligibility requirements for record sealing, as it allows for the sealing of more serious records. With certain limited exceptions, 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor offenses can be sealed under this law. In order to be eligible for record sealing, a person must have completed their sentence and probation/parole, when applicable, and also have gone 10 years without any criminal proceedings against them.
Cambria County Juvenile Expungements
If a criminal or arrest record exists prior to a person's 18th birthday, it is considered a juvenile record. Popular myth has promoted the belief that these records will simply be cleared once a person turns 18, however, these records must actually be expunged through a similar process as with adult records. The process for expunging juvenile records in Cambria County, and throughout Pennsylvania, has less restrictive guidelines and eligibility requirements than the process used for adult records. In order to expunge a juvenile record, the person must meet one of the following guidelines:
- If a person has been convicted/adjudicated on a juvenile delinquency charge, the record will be eligible for expungement after the sentencing has been completed, and five (5) years have passed without incident.
- If a juvenile is placed under a court-mandated supervision, once the supervision has concluded and six (6) months have passed without any criminal proceedings, the record may be eligible for expungement.
- If juvenile charges were brought against a person, but later dismissed, this record may be expunged.
- If a person over the age of 18 petitions the court for a juvenile expungement, the court may consider expunging the record outright.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Ebensburg
When expunging a criminal record in Cambria County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Cambria County, the Cambria County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Cambria County Court of Common Pleas is located at 200 South Center Street, Ebensburg, PA 15931.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Cambria County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Cambria County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Cambria County District Attorney's Office is located in the Cambria County Court House; 200 S Center St, Ebensburg, PA 15931.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Cambria County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Cambria 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 Ebensburg, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Cambria 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 Cambria County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Cambria 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 Cambria County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties. Although the Clerk of Courts will serve the District Attorney's Office, it is good practice in Cambria County for the petitioning party to also serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Cambria County Expungement | Attorney for Cambria County Record Sealing
Seeking criminal expungements or record sealing is crucial for individuals who would like to avoid employment issues, enter or continue with higher education, or pursue or maintain a professional license. The processes for these legal motions can be confusing and intimidating, especially when courts seldom provide thorough instruction for filing. Errors in the process can lead to further delays. For this reason, filing for expungements and record sealing may be best left to an experienced Pennsylvania criminal record expungement attorney; doing so can ensure the expungement process in Cambria County is done properly and proceeds smoothly.
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 criminal record sealing in Ebensburg or Cambria County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.