Pennsylvania is spearheading criminal justice reform efforts and promoting positive societal change by introducing 24 new laws that go into effect this year. The state's efforts are laudable, especially given the nature of some alleged crimes vs. their impact on people's lives. With these changes, people with former criminal convictions can look forward to better employment and housing opportunities without fear of discrimination.
Although not all the changes concern people with former criminal convictions, Pennsylvania is no stranger to updates and legal reforms that affect its industries and systems. A forte that allows the state to progress, PA's openness to change ushers in better opportunities and allows its residents to flourish and catch a break. However, others may find it more challenging to maintain their rights, especially defendants of sexual assault.
Lawmakers pass new laws depending on society's emerging needs and to maintain the health of its industries. From changes in society's values to events that grip American culture, new laws accommodate the times and enforce standards that protect citizens and social systems. Since sexual assault is one of the more explosive topics in today's society, some of the new laws may come at the expense of a person falsely accused.
New Criminal Justice Laws
Criminal justice laws have the power to help or hinder people's progress, especially those who have former convictions. Here's a look at four new changes going into effect in 2021 and what they mean for you if you have a criminal record.
House Bill 440:
A part of the Clean Slate Law in PA, House Bill 440 allows people with eligible cases to receive an automatic expungement on their record and waves court fines and fees. The defendant must still pay restitution fees and meet some requirements. The amendment also permits people who receive a pardon to get their records sealed. House Bill 440 also will make it that individuals who receive a “not guilty” verdict will be entitled to an expungement (as opposed to a record sealing).
House Bill 1984:
Victims of rape that have a child from the incident can terminate the assaulter's parental rights. Before the amendment, the victim must have an adoptive family ready to take the child before removing the assaulter's rights.
Senate Bill 530:
School districts must now take active steps to keep victims of sexual assault safe from the student committing the offense. This change means either expelling the student, transferring them to a new school, or sending them to an educational facility away from the alleged victim.
Senate Bill 637:
Mandates that boards of an organization do not withhold a person's license if they did not commit a criminal offense directly related to their practice.
If you believe that the new laws may affect your case or record, don't wait to review your options. You can improve your chances of expungement or record sealing with a knowledgeable legal professional by your side who works in your best interests.
Call the Lento Law Firm to Review Your Case
Attorney Joseph D. Lento thoroughly understands the PA legal system and helps hundreds of clients receive justice from false or baseless allegations. If you believe that the new laws may affect your case or record, don't wait to contact Mr. Lento to discover your options.
You can improve your chances of expungement or record sealing with a knowledgeable legal professional by your side who works in your best interests.
Call the Lento Law Firm today for a thorough examination of your case at 888-535-3686.