Clinton County is located in the central region of Pennsylvania. The county has over 39,000 residents within its townships and cities. The Clinton County Court of Common Pleas serves the county in all matters of law, both criminal and civil. The court is located in the county seat of Lock Haven, PA, and holds the highest authority within the county. If a person has prior criminal or arrest records in the county, and seeks to have them expunged, they must petition this court.
Expungement in Clinton County
Before a person may petition Clinton County for expungement, they must first meet the Pennsylvania state guidelines for expungement of records. Pennsylvania state law has restrictive requirements for expungements. A person may be eligible to have their records expunged if:
- If a person is over 70 years old, and over ten (10) years have passed since they have faced any criminal proceedings, they may be eligible for an expungement
- If a person was convicted on a summary offense, and five (5) years have passed since they have completed their sentencing, this record may be eligible for an expungement
- If a person was offered a chance to participate in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program instead of a conviction, their record may be eligible for expungement upon completion of the program.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Clinton County Court, or withdrawn by the Clinton County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; charges that were dismissed or withdrawn, however, depending on the circumstances of the case, may instead be eligible for a "redaction," also known as a "partial" expungement.
Clinton County Record Sealing
Pennsylvania also allows defendants who have been convicted of certain misdemeanor charges to seal their records through the state's "limited access" laws. These laws will prevent these records from being accessed during background checks. Only 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor offenses may be sealed under the Limited Access process, with certain exceptions. In addition to the restrictions on what offenses may be sealed, the state also requires that a person must have waited ten (10) years without any additional criminal proceedings. The time on this period begins after any relevant sentencing has been completed.
Juvenile Records in Clinton County
Criminal or arrest records that were created when a person was under the age of 18 are known as juvenile records. These records must be expunged, or they may interfere with a person's ability to pursue education or career goals, despite the common misconception that juvenile records disappear or simply do not matter once a person turns 18. Thankfully, Pennsylvania has somewhat more lenient requirements for expungements of juvenile records. In order for a person to file for expungement of their juvenile records in Clinton County, they must meet one of the following circumstances:
- A person was convicted of a juvenile offense, has served their sentence, and over five (5) years have passed since without facing any criminal proceedings.
- A person was placed under court supervision, the supervision has ceased, and at least six (6) months have passed without any addition criminal proceedings.
- A person was charged with a juvenile offense, but the offense was later withdrawn or dropped.
- A person is over the age of 18, and the court has approved their petition for expungement of their juvenile records.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Lock Haven
When expunging a criminal record in Clinton County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Clinton County, the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Clinton County Court of Common Pleas is located at 230 East Water Street, Lock Haven, PA 17745.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Clinton County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Clinton County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Clinton County District Attorney's Office is located at 217 N. Jay Street, Lock Haven, PA 17745.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Clinton County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Clinton 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 Emporium, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Clinton 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 Clinton County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Cameron 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 Cameron County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading and seven (7) copies when filing.
Unique to Clinton County procedure is that when the Clinton County Probation Department was involved in a person's case who is seeking an expungement or record sealing, the position of the Probation Department should be determined prior to filing, and the Probation Department's position should be included in the filing itself. The position of the Clinton County District Attorney's Office should also be determined and included in the filing. Unlike the Clinton County Probation Department, the Clinton County District Attorney's will always have had an involvement in a person's case due to the nature of Pennsylvania criminal procedure.
Finding the Best Attorney for Clinton County Expungement | Attorney for Clinton County Record Sealing
When a person has prior arrest or criminal records, they may encounter serious difficulty when attempting to pursue higher education, applying for a professional license, or even just seeking or maintaining employment. When filing for an expungement or sealing of these records, the court system may be confusing and unfamiliar. Individuals seeking expungements or record sealing may be met with frustrating delays if their filing is not done according to the court's exacting guidelines. In addition, the courts will seldom provide information in a way that is helpful for the average person to understand. For this reason, it may be best to have an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney conduct the filing and attend to the necessary steps involved.
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 currently seeking an expungement or record sealing in Lock Haven or Clinton County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.