Potter County is located on the northern border of Pennsylvania, sharing a boundary with the state line of New York. The county is populated by over 17,000 residents. The county is served in all legal matters by the Potter County Court of Common Pleas. The court is located in the city of Coudersport, PA. The court maintains all records in the county and also resolves all legal disputes that arise within its borders. If a person has prior arrest or criminal records that they wish to clear, they must petition the court.
Expungement in Potter County
When a person wishes to file for an expungement motion in Potter County, they must first determine whether or not their records are eligible for expunging under Pennsylvania law. The state only allows for a person to expunge a record under certain circumstances. These include:
- A person may expunge the record of a summary conviction if they have fulfilled their sentence and at least five (5) years have passed without additional criminal proceedings against them.
- A person may expunge their records if they are over 70 years old, and have not accrued any additional criminal records for at least ten (10) years.
- A person may expunge their records if they have completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Potter County Court, or withdrawn by the Potter County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; a "redaction," also known as a "partial" expungement, may be the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn, and such a determination will depend on the circumstances of the case.
Sealing Records in Potter County
At times, when a person has more serious records and criminal convictions within Potter County, they may seal their records through a separate process. The process uses Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws that prevent background check agencies from accessing the criminal records. Although a limited number of specific criminal offenses are not allowed to be sealed, in most instances, a person's 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor offenses may be sealed through this process. A person must have fulfilled a waiting period of at least ten (10) years without additional criminal proceedings in order to be eligible.
Juvenile Records in Potter County
When a person faces criminal charges or is arrested prior to their 18th birthday their records are classified as juvenile records. Contrary to popular belief, these records will still exist following a person's entrance into legal adulthood. Pennsylvania, fortunately, allows these records to be expunged under less strict circumstances than standard adult records. These circumstances are:
- A person is over the age of 18, and the court has been convinced through their petition to expunge the record.
- A person was convicted of a juvenile offense, and five (5) years have passed since they have fulfilled their sentence without any additional criminal offenses.
- A person was arrested for juvenile charges, the charges were dropped, and they are not currently facing any further criminal proceedings.
- A person was placed under court supervision, and six (6) months have passed since the supervision's conclusion without any additional criminal offenses
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Coudersport, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Coudersport
When expunging a criminal record in Potter County, whether as an adult, juvenile, or after ARD is complete, or sealing a criminal record in Potter County, the Potter County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Potter County Court of Common Pleas is located at 1 E. Second Street, Coudersport, PA 16915.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Potter County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Potter County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The Potter County District Attorney's Office is located at 1 N, Main Street, # 202, Coudersport, PA 16915.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Potter County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Potter 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 Coudersport, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Potter 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 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 Potter County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Potter 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 Potter County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the Butler County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Potter County Expungement | Attorney for Potter County Record Sealing
When a person seeks to advance their career or education, they may find that their prior criminal or arrest records serve as a hindrance to their progress. These records should be either sealed or expunged through the proper motion with the Potter County Court. When a person attempts to conduct these filings on their own, they may receive little to no direction from the court on proper filing procedures. Missteps in the process can lead to delays or starting the process from the beginning. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when a petitioner is under limited time. For these reasons, these filing may best be conducted by an attorney, and an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney will 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 Coudersport or Potter County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.