Crawford County, Pennsylvania is located on the western border of the state. The county has over 86,000 residents within its cities and townships. The highest court within the county is the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, which holds jurisdiction over legal matters within the county. When a person has prior arrest or criminal records within the county, they must petition this court for these motions.
Expungement in Crawford County
When a person wishes to expunge their prior records in Crawford County, they must first meet the state's requirements for expungement. The state sets forth a number of specific requirements that must be met in order for a person's records to qualify for expungement. These requirements include:
- If a person was convicted of a summary offense, has served their sentence, and five (5) years have passed since without any criminal proceedings against them.
- If a person is over the age of 70 and has not faced any criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years
- If a person was offered a chance to participate in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program instead of being subject to a criminal conviction.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Crawford County Court, or withdrawn by the Crawford County District Attorney's Office, these charges will be eligible for expungement; dismissed or withdrawn charges may, in some instances, be instead eligible for a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
Record Sealing in Crawford County
When a person has higher level criminal records within Crawford County, they may be sealed under Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. Requesting the sealing of a record through these laws will allow a person to prevent access to their criminal records during background checks. Only 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or ungraded misdemeanors may be eligible for record sealing under this process; with limited exceptions. In addition, individuals who are seeking to have their records sealed must not have faced any criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years.
Juvenile Records in Crawford County
If a person has criminal or arrest records that exist from dates prior to their 18th birthday, these records will be known as "juvenile records." While many believe that these records will simply be "cleared" after their 18th birthday, this is completely untrue. Because of this unfortunate reality, juvenile records can interfere with a person's life long after they come of age, and for this reason, should be expunged. Thankfully, Pennsylvania law allows for more lenient requirements for juvenile record expungements. In order to expunge a juvenile record, a person must meet one of the following circumstances:
- If a person over the age of 18 petitions the court for an expungement, and the court approves, their record may be expunged.
- If a person was convicted of a juvenile delinquency offense, has completed their sentencing, and five (5) years have passed without any criminal proceedings, then a person may be eligible to have their record expunged.
- If a person was assigned court supervision, the supervision has concluded, and six (6) months have passed without any criminal proceedings against them, then they may be eligible for an expungement.
- If a person was arrested on juvenile charges, but the charges were later withdrawn or dismissed, they may be eligible to have their arrest record expunged.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Meadville, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Meadville
When expunging a record in Crawford County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete or sealing a record in Crawford County, the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Crawford County Court of Common Pleas is located at 903 Diamond Park, Meadville, PA 16335.
The person seeking the expungement or record sealing in Crawford County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Crawford County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Crawford County District Attorney's Office is located in the Crawford County Courthouse; the address is 903 Diamond Park Square # 203, Meadville, PA 16335.
The process for an expungement or record sealing in Crawford County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Crawford 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 Meadville, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Crawford 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 Crawford County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Crawford 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, although Crawford County expungement requirements include an original pleading only, the petitioning party is responsible for serving the Crawford County District Attorney's Office. A time-stamped copy of the pleading should be obtained for this purpose.
Finding the Best Attorney for Crawford County Expungement | Attorney for Crawford County Record Sealing
Criminal records and arrest records can seriously interfere with a person's career and education goals. This is especially the case for those applying to higher education, or trying to maintain or apply for a professional license. The process for obtaining an expungement or criminal record sealing can be arduous and difficult. Many times, the court will not provide adequate direction for a person to know how to file these motions properly. Missteps in the process can lead to delays in getting the desired results. For this reason, it may be best to have these motions handled by an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney.
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 Meadville or Crawford County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.