Cumberland County is one of Pennsylvania's historical counties, located in near the southern border of the state. the county has over 246,000 residents within its townships and cities. The county is served in all matters of law by the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas. The court is responsible for deciding criminal and civil disputes within the county, as well as holding records for residents of the county. When a person seeks to expunge a former criminal or arrest record within the county, the must petition this court.
Cumberland County Expungements
When a person requests an expungement from Cumberland County's Court, they must first meet the state of Pennsylvania's requirements for the applicable motion for relief. There are only certain circumstances in which the state will allow a person to expunge their records. These include:
- A person is eligible for expungement if they were convicted on a summary offense, their sentence has been served, and over five (5) years have passed without any additional criminal proceedings
- If a person was offered an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program instead of a conviction, and the program has been completed, they will be eligible for an expungement.
- Expungements may also be available for individuals over the age of 70, once ten (10) years have passed without any additional criminal proceedings.
Cumberland County Record Sealing
Pennsylvania offers a method for sealing records of higher leveled crimes as well. This is done through Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. These laws prevent a person's records from coming up on certain background checks, effectively sealing them. While these laws have the power to seal misdemeanor offenses, only certain categories apply. 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor offenses may be sealed under these laws; with some exceptions. In addition, ten (10) years must have passed without a person facing any additional criminal proceedings in order to be eligible for a record sealing motion.
Cumberland County Juvenile Expungements
When a person faces criminal charges or is arrested prior to their 18th birthday, a juvenile record is created. While many believe these records to be transient, expiring once a person comes of age, this notion is actually untrue. These records will persist, and can interfere with a person's goals until they are expunged. Pennsylvania thankfully has less strict requirements on eligibility for expungement for juvenile records. These requirements include:
- If a person was arrested as a juvenile, but the charges were later dismissed or withdrawn, they may be eligible for an expungement.
- If a person was convicted on a juvenile delinquency charge, they have served their sentence, and at least five (5) years have passed since without any additional criminal proceedings, they may have their record expunged.
- If a person was placed under court supervision, the supervision has concluded and at least six (6) months have passed without additional criminal proceedings, this record may be expunged.
- Once a person turns 18, they may petition the court for an expungement of a juvenile record, and it will be up to the court to decide if the record should be expunged.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Carlisle
When expunging a criminal record in Cumberland County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Cumberland County, the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas is located at 1 Courthouse Square, Carlisle, PA 17013.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Cumberland County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Cumberland County District Attorney's Office is located in the Cumberland County Courthouse; the address, as above, is 1 Courthouse Square, Carlisle, PA 17013.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Cumberland County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Cumberland 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 Carlisle, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Cumberland 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 Cumberland County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Cumberland 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 Cumberland County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading and three (3) copies. Although in many Pennsylvania counties, the petitioning party is responsible for serving the applicable District Attorney's Office, in Cumberland County, the Clerk of Courts will serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Cumberland County Expungement | Attorney for Cumberland County Record Sealing
Prior criminal or arrest records within Cumberland County can create difficulties for individuals seeking to enter higher education or to pursue or maintain professional licenses. When a person wishes to expunge or seal these records, the court is likely to provide a minimal amount of guidance. The process can be confusing and frustrating, especially when missteps can lead to further delays. For this reason, these motions may be best left to 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 expungement or sealing of a criminal record in Carlisle or Cumberland County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.