Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, belongs to the central region of the state. The county is composed of over 44,000 residents spread across its municipalities. The Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas is the highest authority within the county and is responsible for maintaining records within the county, and resolving legal disputes. When a person seeks to expunge or seal a record of an offense within this county, they must file a motion to do so with the court.
Huntingdon County Expungements
The most common route taken for a person to clear their name is filing for an expungement within the Pennsylvania county where the records are maintained. In order for Huntingdon County to expunge a record, a person must meet state requirements first. Pennsylvania's requirements for expungement include:
- A person is over the age of 70, and over ten (10) years have passed without any additional criminal proceedings
- A person has been convicted of a summary offense, served their sentence, and at least 5 years have passed without any additional criminal proceedings
- A person has completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program instead of facing a criminal conviction
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Huntingdon County Court, or withdrawn by the Huntingdon County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn may be a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction," depending on the circumstances of the case.
Juvenile Expungements in Huntingdon County
If a person accrues any criminal records prior to their 18th birthday, the court will often place these under the classification of juvenile records. Juvenile records are treated with more leniency when it comes to their eligibility for expungement, however, it is important to remember that these records must still be expunged. A common misconception is that these records will simply disappear, although this is not the case; a person has to take the affirmative step to have a juvenile record expunged in Huntington County, and throughout Pennsylvania. A person may be eligible to expunge their juvenile record if:
- A person is over the age of 18, and the court has approved their request to expunge the record.
- A person was placed under court supervision, the supervision has been completed, and at least six (6) months have passed without additional criminal proceedings.
- A person has faced juvenile charges, but the charges have been dismissed or withdrawn.
- A person was convicted on a juvenile delinquency offense, completed their sentencing, and at least five (5) years have passed without additional criminal activity.
Sealing Records in Huntingdon County
If a person has higher-level criminal records, they may not be eligible for standard expungements. Instead, their criminal records and convictions may be sealed through the use of Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. These laws restrict the access to a person's records during a background check. While this motion allows even 2nd-degree misdemeanor records to be sealed, certain exceptions apply. 3rd degree and ungraded misdemeanors may also be sealed. A person must have allowed at least ten (10) years to pass without any additional criminal proceedings before they may motion for a record sealing.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Huntingdon
When expunging a criminal record in Huntingdon County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Huntingdon County, the Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas is located at 223 Penn Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Huntingdon County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Huntingdon County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Huntingdon County District Attorney's Office is located at 207 Washington Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Huntingdon County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Huntingdon 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 Huntingdon, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Huntingdon 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 Huntingdon County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Huntingdon 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 Huntingdon 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 Huntingdon County for the petitioning party to also serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Huntingdon County Expungement | Attorney for Huntingdon County Record Sealing
Criminal and arrest records at either at the adult or juvenile level can interfere with a person's efforts to enter higher education, or to maintain a professional license. Criminal and arrest records can also interfere with a person's ability to maintain employment, or to advance in their careers. When a person seeks to file for an expungement of these records, the process may be confusing, if not outright daunting. On top of these concerns, the court will seldom provide helpful assistance or direction to individuals seeking relief. Errors in filing will result in delays or possibly even needing to re-file, if the request for relief is not altogether denied. For these reasons, it may be helpful to have an attorney conduct the filing to avoid the possibility of error and delay; an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney can help.
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 a loved one is currently seeking to file an expungement or record sealing motion in Huntingdon County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.