Northumberland County is located in Central Pennsylvania and is one of the state's historic counties. The county supports over 93,000 residents within its townships and boroughs. The county is served in all legal matters by the Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas located in Sunbury, PA. The court holds the highest legal authority within the county and is also responsible for the maintenance and keeping of any criminal or arrest records within the county. When a person wishes to clear their name, they must file a motion to expunge or seal the records within the court.
Northumberland County Expungements
In order to motion to expunge a record in Northumberland County, a person must first meet the guidelines of Pennsylvania's laws regarding expungement eligibility. The state permits only those who satisfy certain narrow circumstances to apply for an expungement. These circumstances include:
- A person is over the age of 70 and has not faced additional criminal matters for at least ten (10) years.
- A person was convicted on a summary offense, has served their sentence, and has not faced additional criminal matters against them for at least five (5) years.
- A person has completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Northumberland County Court, or withdrawn by the Northumberland County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; depending on the circumstances of the case, charges that were dismissed or withdrawn may be instead eligible for a "redaction," also known as a "partial" expungement.
Northumberland County Juvenile Expungements
If a person is the subject of a criminal or arrest record prior to their 18th birthday, they will likely have their records classified as a juvenile record. These records have less strict guidelines for expungement, however, one must understand that they must still be expunged so as not to appear to employers, schools, and so forth. The reason being that juvenile records in Pennsylvania do not simply vanish or expire once a person turns 18. The Pennsylvania guidelines for juvenile record expungement include:
- A person that was convicted of a juvenile offense has fully completed their sentencing, and has fulfilled a waiting period of at least five (5) years without additional criminal matters, may be able to expunge their record.
- A person that was placed under court supervision has completed the supervisory period, and has allowed at least six (6) months to pass without further criminal proceedings may be eligible for an expungement.
- A person that was arrested on a juvenile charge, but later had the charges dropped may be eligible for an expungement.
- A person that is over the age of 18 may petition the court for an expungement of a juvenile record at any time, however, the court must be convinced to grant the petition with the proper argument.
Northumberland County Record Sealing
When a person has records of higher level criminal charges, they may be able to seal those records, rather than going through the expungement route. Pennsylvania offers the record sealing process through the use of the state's "Limited Access" laws. These laws restrict access to a person's records during most background checks. A person may be eligible for their records to be sealed once they have completed a ten (10) year waiting period without further criminal matters against them. Certain misdemeanor convictions are specifically ineligible for record sealing, but most otherwise eligible misdemeanor convictions will be eligible for such relief.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Sunbury
When expunging a record in Northumberland County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete or sealing a record in Northumberland County, the Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Northumberland County Court of Common Pleas is located at 201 Market Street, Sunbury, PA 17801.
The person seeking the expungement or record sealing in Northumberland County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Northumberland County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Northumberland County District Attorney's Office is located in the Northumberland County Courthouse; the address is 201 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Sunbury, PA 17801.
The process for an expungement or record sealing in Northumberland County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Northumberland 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 Sunbury, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Northumberland 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 NorthumberlandCounty as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Northumberland 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, although Northumberland County expungement requirements include an original pleading only, the petitioning party is responsible for serving the Northumberland County District Attorney's Office. A time-stamped copy of the pleading should be obtained for this purpose.
Finding the Best Attorney for Northumberland County Expungement | Attorney for Northumberland County Record Sealing
The motions for expungement and record sealing are very important for individuals who wish to further their career or education goals. Prior records can interfere with a person's attempts to enter higher education or to maintain a professional license. When applying for an expungement, individuals may not receive adequate direction or guidance from the courts on how to do so. This can lead to frustration and delay, as errors in the process often mean that a person must start over from the beginning; if not be subject to an outright denial of relief. To reduce the potential of this happening, it may be best to have an attorney conduct the filing, 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 record sealing in Sunbury or Northumberland County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.