Pennsylvania has at least 164 four year collegiate academic institutions, and many more trade and professional schools within its borders. While going off to college is known as a time period of personal growth and learning for many students, there are also opportunities for students to find themselves in situations that get them in trouble. Colleges are often rife with situations that involve underage drinking, drug use, and other instances that may not necessarily be legally permissible. If a student faces criminal charges, they may also face consequences from their academic institution as well. Students should seek representation from an attorney immediately in these situations, however, if they suffer a conviction, they may be able to expunge the record after some time has passed. An arrest or criminal record can hinder a student's academic and career goals.
Expungement for College Students
Students that have been involved in certain criminal acts or accusations may be eligible to have their records expunged if they fit the state's requirements for an expungement proceeding. These requirements can include:
- A student was convicted of a "summary offense" and has not been involved in any additional criminal proceedings for at least 5 years time since and has fulfilled any and all fines and sentencing requirements
- A student was able to participate and complete an ARD program, also known as an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, and is not currently facing additional criminal proceedings
- The student's offense was a violation of local laws related to underage drinking, underage possession or purchase of alcohol while the student was under the age of 21, and the student is now 21 or older and has fulfilled any sentencing and fines
- The student was arrested, however, the charges were dismissed, they are not facing additional charges, and a court order was filed to remove the arrest record
Pennsylvania Student Expungement and Defense Attorney
Handling an expungement as a student dealing with the stress of college, or a graduated student navigating the job market with a record can be difficult and taxing on other aspect's a student's life. Filing for an expungement can be confusing and frustrating for a student dealing with so much at once. Errors in the process can mean starting from the very beginning of the filing, and additional filing fees. For this reason, an attorney should handle expungements for students undergoing this process. An attorney can work much more quickly, as they will be more familiar with court processes, and can prevent errors in the filing process as well.
One of the best methods for preventing the need for a lengthy expungement process is to bolster a strong defense when criminal charges are levied against a student. A skilled and experienced student defense attorney will be able to help a student through these circumstances, and potentially guide them out of the criminal charges.