When most people talk about the prospect of expungement, they are typically referring to the sealing of court proceedings and arrest records. There are countless reasons to seek this type of expungement, as prospective landlords or employers could hold an arrest against you even if you were never ultimately convicted of a crime.
There are other types of expungement allowed under Pennsylvania law, however. In addition to records relating to your arrest or court proceedings, it is also possible to expunge your DNA records the state might have in their possession.
This type of expungement is uncommon and is only an option in specific instances. That being said, you should never assume that you are not eligible to clear your record and protect your privacy. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento to learn if you are eligible.
Pennsylvania DNA Expungement Law
The process of expunging a DNA sample in Pennsylvania is governed by 44 Pa.C.S. 2321. The statute limits expunging DNA to two specific circumstances. The first situation where expungement is possible involves a DNA sample that was erroneously submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police. Expungement is possible if, upon your request, the State Police agree your DNA was erroneously submitted to the law enforcement agency and sign off on the expungement.
If the Pennsylvania State Police do not agree that expungement is necessary, you are not out of options. The courts can also order your DNA record expunged under two circumstances. The first is if the State Police disagree that your DNA was submitted erroneously, but the court sides with you. The second circumstance involves cases where a person was required to submit a DNA sample after a criminal conviction. If that conviction is ultimately overturned or reversed, a court could order the expungement of the DNA sample.
Even if you fit one of the criteria listed above, you might not be entitled to expungement. For example, if you are convicted of multiple offenses that require a DNA sample, and only one of them is ultimately reversed, you do not have the right to an expungement. What's more, expungement is not an option even if your DNA sample was submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police in error if the police can show you were convicted of a crime that would otherwise require you to submit a sample. Certain types of offenses that occurred prior to July 27, 1995, are also not covered by this statute.
How Joseph D. Lento Can Help
Navigating the expungement process on your own is difficult. There are few resources available to you, and a minor error could result in the denial of your request. With the help of an attorney experienced in the expungement process, you increase your chances of success significantly.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is dedicated to helping Pennsylvania residents get a clean slate after an arrest or conviction. To learn more about how he can help protect your privacy, Contact Joseph D. Lento online or at 888-535-3686 today to schedule your initial consultation.