What Are The Qualifications For An Expungement in Pennsylvania?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

A criminal record has impactful and lasting consequences. Not long after creating one, people find out just how much an even seemingly minor criminal conviction on their record affects their life. Even after serving a sentence, offenders face a world with severely limited possibilities, stripped rights, and a haunting social stigma. A mere google search is all it takes to discover individuals who've been arrested and weren't even convicted but had their charges dismissed. The hard truth is, any involvement with law enforcement can and will follow you forever. Fortunately, Pennsylvania has established a way for defendants to truly put the past behind them.

Offenders can clear their criminal record in Pennsylvania by way of expungement. If successfully completed, the expungement process will completely remove all records that you were charged, arrested, and/or convicted of a crime. Although that sounds like really good news, the state hasn't made things very easy for offenders. The expungement process is lengthy and is notorious for having pretty limited qualifications. But if you qualify, it can drastically improve the quality of your life and increase your chances of professional success in the long run.

Here is an overview of the circumstances in which a criminal charge may be expunged in Pennsylvania:

  • You're over the age of 70 with no arrests for 10 years
  • The criminal offense being expunged is a summary offense, and you have not been arrested in five years
  • You've successfully completed the ARD program or probation
  • If your charges have been dismissed, withdrawn, or resulted in a “not guilty” verdict
  • You have been dead for at least three years

Yes, you read that right, the state of Pennsylvania won't even expunge the record of a dead person right away. But those are the current laws that we must abide by. It's important to note that even if you meet one of these conditions, it doesn't guarantee that your expungement will be successful. The District Attorney's Office has the discretion to reject your petition if they feel it is necessary. But that doesn't happen often.

On a positive note, if you meet any of the conditions above, with the help of an attorney, you can count on the courts to grant your expungement and get all records associated with a criminal conviction destroyed. To learn more about the process, don't hesitate to contact a skilled attorney today.

Pennsylvania Expungement Attorney

The process of expunging a criminal charge can be complicated. Not to mention that there is a myriad of steps to take in Pennsylvania before an offense can be successfully expunged. If you have been convicted of a crime that you think is eligible for removal, contact experienced and skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento to help you make plans for your future. He's helped expedite and smooth the process for people who've acquired all sorts of criminal charges, and he can do the same for you.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.