Lycoming County is the largest county in Pennsylvania in terms of area and is located within the central region of the state. The county is home to over 116,000 residents among its cities and townships. The county is served in all legal matters by the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas, located in the county seat of Williamsport, PA. In addition to resolving legal disputes within the county, the court is also responsible for record-keeping. If a person has criminal records within the county, they must petition this court for expungement.
Expungement in Lycoming County
When a person wishes to expunge their records in Lycoming County, they should first determine whether or not they are eligible under the guidelines established by the state of Pennsylvania. Expungement may only be obtained under a narrow set of circumstances. The circumstances for expungement include:
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Lycoming County Court, or withdrawn by the Lycoming County District Attorney's Office, such charges may be eligible for expungement. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, however, a "partial" expungement may be the appropriate form of relief; a "partial" expungement is also referred to as a "redaction."
- A person is over the age of 70 and has not accrued any further criminal proceedings against them for at least ten (10) years time.
- A person was convicted on a summary offense, has served their sentence, and at least five (5) years have passed without any further criminal proceedings against them.
- A person was offered a chance to fulfill an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program in lieu of a conviction, and the program has been completed.
Record Sealing in Lycoming County
For more serious criminal records in the Lycoming County, a person may undergo a separate process to seal their records. This is done through Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws, which effectively seal a record by preventing anyone from accessing them. A majority of misdemeanors are eligible for record sealing, provided that they are at the level of a 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or ungraded misdemeanor. Also, in order to be eligible for a record sealing motion, a person must not have had additional criminal proceedings for a period of at least ten (10) years.
Juvenile Expungements in Lycoming County
When a criminal record or arrest record is generated prior to a person's 18th birthday, the court will most likely classify it as a juvenile record. While a well-circulated belief may suggest that these records will disappear once a person attains legal adulthood at age 18, the truth of the matter is that these records must also be expunged. Failure to do so may lead to these records coming back to haunt individuals who merely made a youthful mistake. Fortunately, Pennsylvania allows individuals to expunge their juvenile records under more lenient circumstances than their standard adult records. The requirements for juvenile expungement are:
- A person was convicted on a juvenile offense, has fulfilled any sentencing, and at least five (5) years have passed without additional criminal proceedings.
- A person was arrested on juvenile charges, but the charges were dropped.
- A person was placed under court supervision, the period of supervision has concluded, and at least six (6) months have passed without further criminal proceedings.
- A person is over the age of 18, and the court approves their request for expungement.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Williamsport
When expunging a criminal record in Lycoming County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Lycoming County, the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas is located at 48 W. Third Street, Williamsport, PA 17701.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Lycoming County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Lycoming County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Lycoming County District Attorney's Office is located in the Lycoming County Courthouse; the mailing address is 48 W. Third Street, #4, Williamsport, PA 17701.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Lycoming County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Lycoming 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 Williamsport, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Lycoming 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 Lycoming County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Lycoming 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 Lycoming 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 Lycoming County for the petitioning party to also serve the District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Lycoming County Expungement | Attorney for Lycoming County Record Sealing
Expungement and record sealing are two crucial motions for anyone who is seeking employment, pursuing higher education, or attempting to apply for and maintain a professional license. These records can interfere with a person's progress in fulfilling their goals. In addition, when a person seeks to file the motion for expungement or record sealing, they may not receive proper guidance from the court. Mistakes in the process can lead to starting over from the beginning, which is an unnecessary delay when time is particularly valuable. For this reason, it may be best to have an expungement performed by an attorney to reduce the likelihood of delays and frustration, and 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 seeking an expungement or criminal record sealing in Williamsport or Lycoming County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.