Fulton County, Pennsylvania is on the southern border of the state, located next to the Maryland state line. The county is home to 14,000 residents among its municipalities. The county's highest legal authority is the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas. In addition to resolving legal issues, the county also maintains legal records within the county. When a person wishes to expunge or seal a record within the county, the court must be petitioned for action.
Fulton County Expungement
When a person has a criminal or arrest record within Fulton County and seeks to expunge the matter, they must first ensure that they are within the bounds of state law to do so. There are specific constraints set by Pennsylvania law that a person must meet before they are eligible for an expungement, the most common of which can include:
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Fulton County Court, or withdrawn by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, these charges will be eligible for expungement; in some instances, the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn will be a "partial" expungement, also called a "redaction" at times.
- A person was offered a chance to enter into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program instead of facing a conviction, and the program has been completed
- A person is over the age of 70 and at least ten (10) years have passed without any additional criminal proceedings
- A person was convicted of a summary offense, they have served their sentence, and at least five (5) years have passed since without any additional criminal proceedings
Juvenile Expungements in Fulton County
When a person develops criminal or arrest records prior to their entering legal adulthood, these records will often be preserved as juvenile records. When this happens, a person must expunge them the same as they would an adult record. Pennsylvania law has slightly more lenient stances on when a person may be eligible for a juvenile expungement. It is important to remember that these records will not simply "clear" themselves upon a person's 18th birthday. A person may expunge a juvenile record if:
- They were convicted on a juvenile delinquency charge, their sentencing has been completed, and at least five (5) years have passed since that time without any additional criminal proceedings.
- They were placed under court supervision, their supervision has ended, and they have not been involved with additional criminal matters for at least six (6) months.
- They were arrested and faced with juvenile charges, but the charges were later dismissed or withdrawn.
- They have come of age, and petition the court outright, and the court approves their petition.
Sealing of Records in Fulton County
When a person has more serious records within the county, they may also be eligible to seal them if certain requirements are met. Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws allow an avenue for a person with certain misdemeanor records to prevent access to them during a background check. Misdemeanors at the level of the 2nd and 3rd-degree and ungraded misdemeanors may be eligible for sealing under this law. In order for a person to be eligible, however, at least ten (10) years must have passed without them facing any additional criminal proceedings.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Fulton, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Fulton
When expunging a record in Fulton County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete or sealing a record in Fulton County, the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Fulton County Court of Common Pleas is located at 201 N. Second Street, McConnellsburg, PA 17233.
The person seeking the expungement or record sealing in Fulton County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Fulton County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Fulton County District Attorney's Office is located at 126 N. 2nd Street, McConnellsburg, PA 17233.
The process for an expungement or record sealing in Fulton County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Fulton 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 McConnellsburg, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Fulton 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 Fulton County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Fulton County Court will most often decide a request for an expungement or record sealing "on the pleadings," meaning that judgment will be made based upon 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. The Fulton County Clerk of Courts, or "Prothonotary's Office," requires one original pleading only. Procedural requirements in Fulton County are the same for both adult and juvenile expungements. In many Pennsylvania counties, the petitioning party is responsible for serving the expungement petition upon the applicable District Attorney's Office. In Fulton County, however, the Clerk of Courts will serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Fulton County Expungement | Attorney for Fulton County Record Sealing
Allowing records at any level to go without expungement or sealing can seriously impede into the efforts of anyone seeking admission to higher education or to advance their employment or career. Anyone who currently holds a professional license, or seeks to receive one, also has to be mindful as to how past records can affect their goals. In addition, when a person seeks to expunge these reco s, or have a record sealed, they are likely to receive little to no guidance or support from the court. Instead, courts often assume that a person already knows the process, and expect them to follow it exactly. Any errors can lead to frustration and delay, if not an outright denial of the relief sought. For these reasons, it may be best to have an expungement 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 your loved one is currently seeking an expungement or criminal record sealing in Fulton County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.