Most assume that their legal headaches are over when the charges against them are dropped or when they're acquitted or exonerated from the crime they're accused of having committed in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, this assumption isn't quite right. Even when you're cleared from any criminal wrongdoing, you'll still have a record.
Why the Record Matters
You might wonder why it matters. If you've been cleared of any wrongdoing, then no one should be able to hold your arrest against you, right? If only it were that simple. If you're arrested and never charged, or if you're arrested, and the charges are later dropped, you'll still have a record. The record can and will be accessed by the public. Background checks are often required for many essential things in life, and you'll have to consent to them when you apply for housing, a new job, or a higher education program.
These records shouldn't be held against you, but the truth is: a potential employer or landlord is probably going to choose the applicant with no record over the applicant who has an arrest record. They shouldn't discriminate against you like this, but they can and will. Even when the arrest record didn't result in a conviction, you'll be at a disadvantage for life's big opportunities.
PA Expungement and Record Sealing Options
If you're thinking this is unfair, you're right. There is some good news though. For example, those who were never convicted will have an easier time clearing their record. While PA law imposes expungement prohibitions for some convictions, this won't be an issue if you were never convicted. The expungement or record-sealing process can be complicated and time-consuming, but it's worth pursuing. Those who get their records expunged or sealed won't have to move through life with the cloud of an arrest record hanging over their heads.
Expungement removes all administrative evidence from the record that you were ever arrested or criminally processed. When your record is successfully expunged, you don't have to disclose any encounter with law enforcement to potential employers, landlords, and so on. You could also work toward sealing your record, but if you've never been convicted of a crime, the better option available to you is expungement.
Talk with a PA Expungement Lawyer Today
The first step any person should make in exploring their expungement or record sealing options in PA is having a conversation with an experienced PA expungement attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping clients through the expungement process. Expungement and record-sealing processes are difficult to navigate for those who haven't been through them before. You should always work with a skilled attorney who can explain each step along the way. To learn more, contact the dedicated Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or contact us online today.
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