Expungements in Pennsylvania: Frequently Asked Questions

When facing a criminal charge, it's difficult to think about the long-term consequence beyond the sentence. But a criminal record can have life-long consequences. A criminal record can limit your career options, college options, financial aid, loans, housing, and more.

In Pennsylvania, we do understand the importance of second chances. As a result, Pennsylvania allows you to use the legal process to clear some criminal convictions and arrests. You can clean up your record in Pennsylvania in one of three ways: an expungement, a pardon, or a limited access order.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an Expungement?
  2. What are the Benefits of Expungement?
  3. What Crimes Can I Have Expunged in Pennsylvania?
  4. What is a Summary Offense?
  5. Can I Expunge a Juvenile Record?
  6. What is the Pennsylvania Expungement Process?
  7. Am I Eligible to Have my Pennsylvania Record Expunged?
  8. Am I Eligible to Have my Pennsylvania Record Sealed?
  9. Am I Eligible to Obtain a Limited Access Order for My Pennsylvania Records?
  10. Eligibility for a Limited Access Order
  11. Ineligible for Limited Access Order
  12. Am I Eligible for a Pennsylvania Pardon?
  13. Can I Have Drug Offenses Expunged in Pennsylvania?
  14. Can I Have my Driving Record Expunged in Pennsylvania?
  15. Can I Expunge a DUI in Pennsylvania?
  16. How Long Does Expungement Take?
  17. Can Anyone Access My Records After Expungement?
  18. How Do I Expunge My Record?
  19. What is Record Sealing?
  20. What is a Limited Access Petition?
  21. Can Immigration See My Expunged Record?
  22. I Want to Join the Military? Do I Need to Disclose My Expunged Record?
  23. Can Expungement Help My Career?

What is an Expungement?

An expungement is an order granted by a Pennsylvania court to destroy all court and administrative criminal history record information related to a charge or conviction. An expungement is only available in limited situations:

  • If you were charged but never convicted of a crime, including not guilty verdicts, charges that were withdrawn or dismissed, or nolle prose disposition.
  • Underage drinking convictions at age 21, upon completion of all court-ordered requirements.
  • Other summary offenses, which are minor offenses not classified as misdemeanors or felonies, if you've been free from arrest or prosecution for five years.

You cannot expunge misdemeanors and felonies unless you are 70 years of age or deceased and other conditions are met. You may be able to apply to have an eligible misdemeanor record sealed, however, or request a pardon for cases involving either misdemeanors, felonies, or both.

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What are the Benefits of Expungement?

When you have a criminal record, it can affect child custody, limit your career opportunities, college or graduate school admission, limit your ability to obtain professional licenses, and limit your ability to hold public office, among other concerns. Expunging your criminal record can positively benefit your future education, employment, and involvement in the community. If you expunge your record, you may:

    • Tell employers that you've never been convicted
    • Become eligible for student loans
    • Gain admission to colleges, universities, and professional schools that might otherwise deny you admission based on your criminal record
    • Be able to possess or own a firearm (if otherwise eligible)
    • Be able to hold public office
    • Be eligible for professional licenses and certifications

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What Crimes Can I Have Expunged in Pennsylvania?

A Pennsylvania court may not expunge all crimes, but there are specific circumstances where you may have your criminal records removed, sealed, or allow only limited access.

1. You Weren't Convicted

You can apply to have your record expunged if:

  • The police arrested you, but no court convicted you of a crime
  • The court didn't dispose of your case within 18 months of the arrest and
  • There are no pending criminal proceedings against you

See 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9122 (2019).

  1. Purchase, Consumption, or Possession of Alcohol

If you were 18 years or older and convicted of section 6308, have completed all the terms of your sentence, and are now 21 years or older, you may have your record expunged. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9122 (2019).

  1. Offenses Resolved Through Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition

If you completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program for a crime that was not related to a sex crime against a minor, you might qualify for expungement. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9122 (2019); 234 Pa.C.R. 320. Ninety percent of cases resolved through ARD involve driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  1. Other Offenses

For other offenses, you may qualify for criminal record expungement if:

  • You committed a summary offense, a low-level offense usually punished by a fine and no more than 90 days in jail, and at least five years have passed since the criminal proceedings
  • You are at least 70 years old, and ten years have passed since the criminal proceedings
  • The subject of the criminal record has been dead for at least three years
  1. Section 17

Section 17 is a diversionary program similar to ARD that allows you to complete probation without a conviction. If you completed the Section 17 diversionary program, you could have a court expunge your record. Section 17 usually applies to possession of marijuana or paraphernalia.

  1. Record Sealing

Under Act 5 of 2016, you can have some nonviolent misdemeanors “sealed” after ten years of no arrests or charges. As of 2019, the courts will automatically seal some records, including:

  • Criminal arrests if you were never convicted
  • Charges where the court or jury found you not guilty
  • Nonviolent criminal convictions that are ten years or older
  • Misdemeanor offenses that involved fewer than two years in prison

Police can still see the convictions, but you don't have to disclose them to most employers, and employers shouldn't be able to find them.

Sex crimes against a minor are never eligible for expungement. You can also have your records expunged if granted a Governor's pardon.

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What is a Summary Offense?

A summary offense is one that is not a misdemeanor or a felony. Summary offenses are usually minor offenses that involve things like underage drinking, shoplifting, or obstructing the highway. You can have a summary offense expunged if you've been free from arrest or conviction for five years.

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Can I Expunge a Juvenile Record?

Pennsylvania law allows expungement of some juvenile offenses, including summary offenses. You must fall into one of five categories:

  1. It has been six months since you completed an informal adjustment, and you do not have any pending criminal actions against you.
  2. It's been six months since your final discharge from supervision after a consent decree or diversion program, and you have no criminal convictions or adjudications pending against you.
  3. You are 18 or older, and:
    • It has been at least six months since you completed all conditions of a summary conviction committed while you were under 18
    • You haven't been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or adjudicated delinquent and
    • You have no pending delinquency, misdemeanor, or felony charges
  1. It's been five years since your final disposition and referral discharge, you haven't been adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, and you don't have any pending delinquency, felony, or misdemeanor charges against you.
  2. The district attorney agrees to the expungement. The DA will consider:
  3. The type of offense
      • Your age, employment history, and criminal activity
      • Any alcohol or drug problems you may have
      • Adverse consequences if the DA doesn't grant expungement and
      • Whether the public is at risk if the court expunges your record

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What is the Pennsylvania Expungement Process?

The expungement process in Pennsylvania can be lengthy. But you need to follow each step to ensure that law enforcement agencies expunge all records properly. An attorney experienced in record expungement can be quite useful in this process

  1. Get a Copy of Your Rap Sheet

To start the expungement process, you will first need to obtain a copy of your criminal record. Your petition for expungement asks for personal information like name and social security number, but it also asks for your charged offenses, docket numbers, tracking numbers, and case disposition. All of this information will help the court see your entire record and determine what records to expunge if the court grants your request.

  1. Complete the Petition for Expungement

For “summary offenses,” violations, or infractions that did not require a jury, you will complete a form according to Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 490. For misdemeanor or felony convictions, you will complete a form under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 790.

  1. Attend the Hearing

After filing your petition, the court may schedule a hearing with a judge. Some courts will enter an expungement order after reviewing your petition, and you won't need to appear in person. But in some cases, the judge will want to ask you additional questions about your past crimes, your rehabilitation, or why you want the records expunged. You will need to attend a hearing with a judge in person or by video conference in these cases. The judge will determine whether or not to grant your petition, considering factors such as:

  • Your earning capacity, how you earn your living, and whether your record impacts that
  • The nature and seriousness of your offense
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Your prior criminal history, if any and
  • Whether preserving your record will protect the public
  1. Expungement Order

If the judge agrees to expunge your record, they will sign an expungement order. The order will list the specific records to remove and the agencies that should receive the order. The order also requires that the FBI return records to state agencies for destruction.

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Am I Eligible to Have my Pennsylvania Record Expunged?

You may be eligible to have your record expunged if you fit one of several categories:

  1. You Weren't Convicted

You can apply to have your record expunged if:

  • The police arrested you, but no court ever convicted you, including not guilty verdicts, dismissed cases, and nolle prose dispositions.
  • The court didn't dispose of your case within 18 months and
  • There are no pending criminal proceedings against you.
  1. Convictions for the Purchase, Consumption, or Possession of Alcohol

If you were 18 years or older and convicted of section 6308 related to the purchase, consumption, or possession of alcohol while underage, have completed all the terms of your sentence, and are now 21 years or older, you may ask the court to expunge your records. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9122 (2019).

  1. You Completed an ARD Program

If you completed the Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, you might qualify for expungement. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9122 (2019); 234

Pa.C.R. 320. Ninety percent of cases resolved through ARD involve driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which are often eligible for expungement. Records related to sex crimes against a minor can never be expunged, even if resolved through ARD or another diversionary program.

  1. Section 17

Section 17 is a diversionary program similar to ARD, allowing you to complete probation without a conviction. If you complete the Section 17 diversionary program, you may ask a court to expunge your record. Section 17 usually applies to possession of marijuana or paraphernalia.

  1. Other Convictions

For other offenses, you may qualify for criminal record expungement if:

  • It was a summary offense, a low-level offense usually punished by a fine and no more than 90 days in jail, and it's been at least five years since the criminal proceedings
  • You are at least 70 years old, and ten years have passed since the criminal proceedings or
  • The subject of the criminal record has been dead for at least three years.

Misdemeanors and felonies are not typically eligible for expungement (unless the two above-referenced conditions are met).

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Am I Eligible to Have my Pennsylvania Record Sealed?

Under Pennsylvania law, you can have records related to some nonviolent misdemeanors “sealed” after ten years of no arrests or criminal charges. As of 2019, the Pennsylvania courts will automatically seal some records, including:

  • Criminal arrests if you weren't convicted
  • Charges where the court or jury found you not guilty
  • Nonviolent criminal convictions that are ten years or older
  • Misdemeanor offenses punishable by less than two years in prison

Police can still see sealed convictions and records, but you don't have to disclose them to most employers, and employers shouldn't find them in normal background checks.

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Am I Eligible to Obtain a Limited Access Order for My Pennsylvania Records?

In Pennsylvania, you may be able to petition a court to limit access to your records in some cases. An order for limited access effectively seals access to your records, and criminal justice agencies can no longer disclose your criminal record to the public. Similar to a record “seal,” your records will still exist, and law enforcement agencies, employers that must consider criminal history under federal law, and those who use FBI background checks can still see your records.

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Eligibility for a Limited Access Order

You might be eligible for limited access if a court convicted you of a first, second, or third-degree misdemeanor or an ungraded offense with a maximum of five years in prison as punishment. You must also:

  • Wait ten years after completing your sentence
  • Not be arrested or prosecuted for any crime punishable by a year or more in prison during your ten-year waiting period.

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Ineligible for Limited Access Order

Some criminal records are never eligible for limited access. These records, including those for murder, first-degree felonies, or offenses punishable by more than 20 years in prison. Other factors can also make you ineligible for a limited access order, including:

1. A court convicted you of a first-degree misdemeanor crime that involved:

  • Danger to another person, like assault
  • Offenses against your family, including bigamy, incest, and child endangerment
  • Firearms charges
  • Dangerous weapons charges; and
  • Corruption of minor offenses, which includes truancy and statutory rape

2. In the last 20 years, a court convicted you of:

  • Four or more offenses punishable by two or more years
  • Any of the following crimes punishable by seven or more years in prison:
    • An offense involving danger to a person, like assault
    • An offense against your family
    • A firearms charge
    • A “dangerous weapons” charge
    • Sex offenses and sex registration violations

3. In the last 15 years, a court convicted you of any of the following offenses:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual intercourse with an animal
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Abuse of a corpse
  • Engaging in paramilitary training
  • Introducing or possessing a weapon in a jail, prison, or mental hospital
  • Two or more offenses punishable by two or more years in prison.

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Am I Eligible for a Pennsylvania Pardon?

A pardon is an act of forgiveness or clemency for a crime that restores the convicted person's rights as if they had never committed the crime. The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons makes recommendations to the governor regarding who should receive a pardon, but the governor has the final say. The pardon process is long and difficult. It is an significant remedy that the governor grants only in compelling circumstances. But if you are successful, a pardon will fully restore your rights.

Any person with a criminal conviction in a Pennsylvania state court can apply for a pardon. However, a pardon does not remove, expunge, or clear a conviction from your record. However, a pardon does make you eligible to request that the court expunge your criminal record.

The pardon procedure in Pennsylvania is a multi-step process. There is no statutory waiting period to apply for a pardon, but the Board of Pardons is more likely to grant pardons for crimes in the distant past. If the board rejects your application for a pardon, you must wait 12 months to apply again.

The pardon process includes:

  • An Application
  • Background Investigation
  • Notice to Interested Parties
  • Board of Pardons Hearing
  • Board of Pardons Recommendation
  • Governor's Decision

The application requires that you submit a detailed list of documents from your criminal case as well as a list of your prior crimes and traffic offenses. You will have 15 minutes to present your case during your hearing and explain why you seek clemency. You may also present any character witnesses and answer questions from the board.

The Board of Pardons has five members, including the Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, a corrections expert, a psychiatrist, and a victims' rights advocate. The governor appoints the last three members of the board. After hearing the applicant's presentation, all witness testimony, and asking any questions, the board will vote to determine whether they grant the pardon. The Board of Pardons will generally consider:

  • Whether the crime was violent
  • The circumstances that led to the applicant committing the crime
  • Whether the applicant took responsibility for the crime
  • How much time has passed
  • The hardship created by the applicant's criminal history, including educational, licensing, clearances, and occupational limitations
  • How the applicant has contributed to society since the conviction.

After voting, the Board of Pardons will make a recommendation to the Pennsylvania Governor. At least three of the five board members must vote in favor of your pardon application to send their recommendation for a pardon to the governor. The governor makes the final pardon decision.

Pardons are not routinely granted. In 2020, the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons heard 747 cases and recommended only 325 to the governor. Governor Wolf granted only 128 of those pardons.

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Can I Have Drug Offenses Expunged in Pennsylvania?

For most people, although you may not be able to have some misdemeanor drug offenses expunged in Pennsylvania (unless you are 70 years of age or deceased), you may be eligible to have such charges sealed. Minor offenses like possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, or distributing 30 grams of marijuana or less for no remuneration are typically eligible for expungement. You may also be eligible to have a drug-related DUI expunged as well.

To qualify for a record sealing:

  • Your drug charges must be misdemeanors of the second or third-degree.
  • You must be free or arrests and convictions for ten years.
  • You can't have any felony convictions, first-degree misdemeanor convictions, or second-degree simple assault charges.
  • You must have fewer than four misdemeanor convictions.
  • You must pay all fines and costs associated with your convictions.

Some drug offenses may have grading that makes them ineligible for expungement (in such an instance, you may be eligible for a record sealing if the above conditions are met). Felony drug-related offenses are not eligible for expungement.

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Can I Have my Driving Record Expunged in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania expungement laws don't allow for the modification of your PennDOT Pennsylvania driving record. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will not remove points or license suspensions from your record even if a court orders expungement of a summary traffic offense.

The only limited expungement of driving records available is underage drinking under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6308. If the offender has turned 21 and has “successfully served a sentence,” including paying the fine and serving the suspension period. If the state has also restored the offender's driving privileges, the law allows for the expungement of the suspension notation from their Pennsylvania driving record. You must petition for expungement in the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the police filed the offense.

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Can I Expunge a DUI in Pennsylvania?

In some cases, you can expunge your DUI record in Pennsylvania. If you completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, you might qualify for expungement. See 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 9122 (2019); 234

Pa.C.R. 320. In this diversionary program, the court allows you to serve probation without convicting you. Once you complete the ARD program, the court dismisses the charges. If the court dismissed your DUI charges through ARD or another diversionary program, your records might be eligible for expungement.

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How Long Does Expungement Take?

Typically, an expungement in Pennsylvania can take between three and six months. However, the speed of the process depends on how efficient government agencies are at the time. During a pandemic, with many non-essential workers at home or court-restricted access, it could take longer. The process involves:

  1. Requesting your criminal record from the Pennsylvania Central Repository (which is maintained by the Pennsylvania State Police).
  2. After receiving your record, you will apply for expungement with the Clerk of Courts in each county where you were arrested.
  3. As applicable. attend a hearing with the judge for your petition.
  4. Send the signed expungement order to the State Police and other applicable law enforcement, government, and court agencies.

After the Pennsylvania State Police receive an expungement order signed by a Court of Common Pleas judge, they will expunge your record.

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Can Anyone Access My Records After Expungement?

If your record is sealed or expunged in Pennsylvania, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers. Expungement removes your criminal and arrest record from public records as well as the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Repository. However, your record will remain in the FBI database, and it may remain in some private databases. Similarly, sealing your record will prohibit law enforcement agencies from disclosing your criminal records in most employment situations.

However, law enforcement agencies and other employers that must consider criminal histories under federal law, and those who use FBI background checks can still see your sealed criminal records, and you must disclose them. For example, if you work in the financial industry, for the military, or need to obtain a security clearance, you must disclose your criminal history even if a court-ordered your records expunged or sealed. However, routine employer, landlord, and other background checks will not contain these criminal records, and you will not be legally required to disclose them.

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How Do I Expunge My Record?

Expunging your record can be a lengthy process, but most of it is simply waiting.

  1. First, you'll need to fill out Form SP 4-170.
  2. Send the form to the Central Repository address on the form. You'll need to include:
  • A certified check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • A copy of your government-issued ID.
  • A legal affidavit or letter of representation if applicable.
  • You'll receive a copy of your arrest record from the Central Repository.
  • After receiving your record, you should follow up with the Clerk of Court in each county where you have an arrest record and ask for their county-specific expungement application and procedures.
  • Fill out the expungement form.
  • Attend a hearing with the judge for your petition. In some cases, you won't need to appear in person. However, many judges wish to ask additional questions and will ask that you appear in person. At the petition hearing, the judge will consider:
  • The nature and seriousness of each offense
  • The damage to your reputation
  • Any prior arrest records
  • Your earning capacity and whether your record impacts that
  • Whether the general public will be in danger if the court expunges your record.
  • Send the signed expungement order to the state police.
  • After the state police receive an expungement order signed by a Commonwealth Court Judge, they will expunge your record.

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What is Record Sealing?

Under Act 5 of 2016, many Pennsylvanians are eligible to have low-level misdemeanors “sealed” to provide more opportunities to join the workforce and reduce recidivism. You may be eligible for record sealing if:

  • You have a second or third-degree misdemeanor conviction
  • You haven't been arrested in at least ten years
  • You've never been convicted of a felony, a first-degree misdemeanor, or a second-degree simple assault
  • You have fewer than four misdemeanor convictions
  • You've paid all fines and costs associated with your cases

In June of 2019, some crimes became eligible for automatic sealing under Pennsylvania's Clean Slate Act of 2018. Records automatically sealed will include:

  • Criminal arrests if you were never convicted
  • Charges where the court or jury found you not guilty
  • Nonviolent criminal convictions that are ten years or older
  • Misdemeanor offenses that involved fewer than two years in prison

Serious crimes and felonies such as sexual assault, homicide, child endangerment, sex crimes against a child, and other violent crimes are not eligible to be sealed.

Even though the state will remove these records from state criminal databases, they will still exist. Law enforcement agencies, employers that must consider criminal histories under federal law, and those who use FBI background checks can still see your sealed criminal records, and you must disclose them. However, routine employer, landlord, and other background checks will not contain these criminal records, and you will not be legally required to disclose them.

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What is a Limited Access Petition?

In Pennsylvania, you may be able to petition a court to limit access to your records in some cases. An order for limited access effectively seals access to your records, and criminal justice agencies can no longer disclose your criminal record to the public. Your records will still exist, and law enforcement agencies, employers that must consider criminal history under federal law, and those who use FBI background checks can still see your records.

1. Eligibility for Limited Access

You might be eligible for limited access if a court convicted you of a first, second, or third-degree misdemeanor or an ungraded offense with a maximum of five years in prison as punishment. You must also:

  • Wait ten years after completing your sentence before applying
  • During your ten-year waiting period, you can't have been arrested or prosecuted for any crime that is punishable by a year or more in prison.

2. Disqualification for Limited Access

Some criminal records are never eligible for limited access. These records, including those for murder, first-degree felonies, or offenses punishable by more than 20 years in prison. First-degree misdemeanor crimes that are ineligible for limited access include:

  • Any offense that involved a danger to another person, like assault
  • Offenses against your family, including bigamy, incest, and child endangerment
  • Firearms charges
  • Dangerous weapons charges; and
  • Corruption of minor offenses, which includes truancy and statutory rape

You can't petition for limited access if a court convicted you of four or more offenses punishable by two years or more in prison in the last 20 years. Or if a court convicted you of any of the following crimes punishable by seven or more years in prison:

  • An offense involving danger to a person, like assault
  • An offense against your family
  • A firearms charge
  • A “dangerous weapons” charge
  • Sex offenses and sex registration violations

If a court convicted you of any of the following offenses in the last 15 years, you can't apply for either record sealing or filing a petition for limited access:

  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual intercourse with an animal
  • Failure to register as a sex offender
  • Abuse of a corpse
  • Engaging in paramilitary training
  • Introducing or possessing a weapon in a jail, prison, or mental hospital
  • Two or more offenses punishable by two or more years in prison

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Can Immigration See My Expunged Record?

Yes, immigration officials will see your entire Pennsylvania criminal record, including any records you've had expunged. You must disclose any arrest or conviction in your immigration application as well.

Some criminal convictions can render you inadmissible to the United States, even if a court ordered the records expunged or sealed. You can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility if you are:

  • An immediate family member of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident will face hardship if you must leave the country.
  • A self-petitioner under the Violence Against Women Act
  • Inadmissible solely because of prostitution
  • Inadmissible because of a conviction that happened more than 15 years before your waiver application

Criminal convictions that are eligible for an inadmissibility waiver include:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude, except murder or torture
  • Prostitution or other illegal commercialized vices
  • Involvement in serious criminal activity if you received immunity from prosecution
  • Simple marijuana possession or being under the influence of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana or an equivalent amount of hashish
  • Multiple convictions with a sentence of five years or less

Inadmissibility waivers are almost entirely up to the discretion of immigration officials. You will need to show your rehabilitation since your conviction, and obtaining a Pennsylvania expungement may help demonstrate this. In some cases, a judge's determination that you are rehabilitated enough for your criminal record's expungement can help your admission case or help prevent your removal.

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I Want to Join the Military? Do I Need to Disclose My Expunged Record?

Yes, you will need to disclose your entire criminal record when you enlist in the military, even if a Pennsylvania judge ordered your records expunged. As part of your military enlistment, the government will perform a character screening process involving credit checks and a criminal background check. The military uses the screening to reveal possible future security or discipline risks that could harm the military's mission, leave you open to blackmail, or make you a disciplinary problem.

Failure to disclose your criminal record is a federal crime. Remember, expungement of your Pennsylvania record doesn't eliminate those records from the FBI database. Your records still exist. However, only law enforcement agencies and employers that must check criminal history by law may access these sealed or expunged records. This category of employers includes the military and the U.S. government. Even if your background check somehow misses a Pennsylvania arrest or conviction, you may fly under the radar for a while. But when your record eventually turns up in an FBI background check or a security clearance investigation, you could face a dishonorable discharge or even prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

While a criminal record may initially disqualify you from military service, you may request a waiver. If you've had your record expunged, this helps to demonstrate your rehabilitation. If you've turned your life around, the military may grant you a waiver.

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Can Expungement Help My Career?

In Pennsylvania, expunging or sealing your record or obtaining a limited access order may help you with your future career and employers. Expungement removes your criminal and arrest record from public records as well as the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Repository. However, it's important to remember that your record will remain in the FBI database, and it will remain in some private databases. The internet is forever. Similarly, sealing your record will prohibit law enforcement agencies from disclosing your criminal records in most, but not all, employment situations.

While the police and state agencies will remove your records from databases or give only limited access to the information, your records do still exist if a record sealing is granted as opposed to an expungement. Law enforcement agencies can still access your record, and some employers must inquire into your criminal background by federal law.

So, if you plan to enlist in the military, obtain a security clearance, or become a law enforcement officer, your record will still be seen. In these specific instances, you may need to disclose your record in advance to prospective employers. Moreover, many professional licensing boards, such as the Pennsylvania Bar, and those involving doctors and nurses for example, require that you reveal your entire criminal and arrest history, regardless of whether a court ordered your records expunged or sealed.

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Hire a Skilled Pennsylvania Expungement Lawyer

The best way to protect your records and regain your maximum future career potential is to consult a skilled Pennsylvania expungement attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an experienced criminal defense attorney, proficient in helping clients expunge criminal records. He can help. Give the Lento Law Firm a call at 888-535-3686.

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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.

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