Greene County is located at the very southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, sharing a border with West Virginia. The county consists of over 37,000 residents. Serving the county in all matters of law is the Green County Court of Common Pleas, located in the county seat of Waynesburg, PA. The court is responsible for maintaining records within the county, and holding jurisdiction over legal matters within the county. When a person seeks to expunge a former criminal or arrest record, they must file a motion with this court to do so.
Greene County Expungements
If a person seeks to expunge a prior criminal or arrest record in Greene County, they must first determine whether or not they are allowed by the state to pursue such a motion. Pennsylvania is restrictive over what situations allow a person to expunge a record. A person may do so if:
- If they have fulfilled an Alternative Rehabilitative Disposition program in lieu of being convicted, and are not involved in any criminal matters.
- If five (5) years have passed since the completion of sentencing for a summary offense and the person has not faced any criminal proceedings within this time period.
- If ten (10) years have passed without criminal matters pending, and the person is over 70 years of age.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Greene County Court, or withdrawn by the Greene County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; in some instances, the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn may be a "redaction," also known as a "partial" expungement.
Greene County Record Sealing
Record sealing is an alternative to standard expungement proceedings that allows a person to seal criminal and arrest records of a higher level than those offered through standard expungement measures. This is done through Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. These laws allow a person to seal records including 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor charges. Although a limited number of misdemeanor charges are specifically prohibited from being sealed under the Limited Access laws, most will be eligible. In order to be eligible to seal their records, a person must not have had any criminal proceedings against them for at least ten (10) years and must have completed any conditions of their sentence after their conviction.
Juvenile Records in Greene County
Records that exist within the county prior to a person's 18th birthday are often considered to be juvenile records. A popular belief often provides the misconception that these records will simply be erased from a person's record once they come of age. The unfortunate reality of the matter is that juvenile records will remain just as the case with adult records. For that reason, these records should be expunged just as an adult record would be, or else they can continually interfere with a person's attempts to move on in life. Thankfully, Pennsylvania law offers more substantial avenues for persons seeking to expunge their juvenile records. Juvenile records may be expunged under the following circumstances:
- A person that is over the age of 18 may simply petition the court for an expungement, however, the court must review and approve of their petition.
- A person who has completed court supervision and not faced additional criminal proceedings for at least six (6) months may be eligible for expungement of their record.
- A person with a juvenile conviction that has served their sentence and fulfilled a five (5) year waiting period without any criminal proceedings may have their record expunged.
- A person that has faced juvenile charges, but the charges were later dropped, may be able to have their record expunged.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Waynesburg
When expunging a criminal record in Greene County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Greene County, the Greene County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Greene County Court of Common Pleas is located at 10 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Greene County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Greene County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Greene County District Attorney's Office is located on the third floor of the Greene County Court; the address is 10 E. High St #304, Waynesburg, PA 15370.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Greene County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Greene 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 Waynesburg, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Greene 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 Greene County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Greene 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 Greene County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading, unlike most Pennsylvania counties. Although the Clerk of Courts will serve the District Attorney's Office, it is good practice in Greene County for the petitioning party to also serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Greene County Expungement | Attorney for Greene County Record Sealing
If a person is trying to advance their career, or merely trying to avoid employment issues, arrest records and criminal records can stand in the way. The same holds true for people trying to enter or continue in a higher education institution or maintain or apply for a professional license; their prior records may stand in the way of their success. Expungement and criminal record sealing are crucial legal motions for these purposes. Many times, however, adequate direction is seldom provided by the court when a person seeks to motion for an expungement or sealing of records. The process itself can be confusing for individuals who are filing for the first time, and missteps can lead to delays. For this reason, these motions may be best 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 seeking an expungement in Waynesburg or Greene County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.