Pennsylvania Record Sealing Attorney

Once a person has created a criminal record, by being arrested, charged with a crime or prosecuted, it will follow them for their entire lifetime. It's existence has been known to make it more difficult for individuals to land a job, further their education, sign a lease and access important government resources and benefits. Fortunately, the state of Pennsylvania offers number a processes to help state residents potentially start anew without having a criminal record dampen their life. Of these methods is the ability to seal a criminal record. When a conviction for a crime has been “sealed,” this means that it will be inaccessible to anyone without the issuing of a court order.

For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) what qualifications a person must meet to become eligible to seal a record (2) and the process he or she will have to undergo to successfully do so.

Record Sealing Eligibility in Pennsylvania

The number of people who are eligible for record sealing in Pennsylvania has expanded with the enactment of a recent law. According to the new legislation, individuals who have a conviction for a second degree misdemeanor, third degree misdemeanor or ungraded misdemeanor and have been free of arrests and prosecution for at least 10 years are eligible. The 10 year waiting period is initiated when all of the terms of a conviction, such as supervision or probation are completed.

Although there are more people who may be eligible to have their record sealed. Eligibility is still narrowed down by not allowing the following criminal convictions to be sealed:

  • Obstruction of a child abuse case
  • Intimidation of a witness
  • Retaliation against a witness
  • Impersonating a public servant
  • A second degree misdemeanor for simple assault
  • An ungraded misdemeanor for more than two years or
  • A conviction that requires a person to be put on a sex offender's registry

Initiating the Record Sealing Process

If a person is eligible to seal their record in Pennsylvania based on the qualification, he or she can file a petition. A petition must be filed in the Court of Common Pleas within the county where the guilty verdict took place. The District Attorney's Office will have a span of 30 days to either consent to your petition or object it.

If a petition is objected, there will be a hearing scheduled before a judge that addresses why that decision was made. If a petition is consented, the order will be granted and an order to seal all records in relation to your conviction or charges will be sent to the appropriate agencies.

It's important to note that although a sealed record is similar to an expungement, it may still be accessible to certain agencies or organizations. For example, investigations by government agencies may be able to request information for a sealed case, as well as teaching, medical or legal agencies that may need access to this case for clarification.

Pennsylvania Record Sealing Attorney

If you are in Pennsylvania and wish to seal a criminal record, you should consult with an attorney. A skilled legal professional will be able to maximize the likelihood of your petition being successful. Contact Joseph D. Lento today for help.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento is experienced with the record sealing process throughout Pennsylvania and has helped clients statewide put past mistakes behind them.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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