Unfortunately, the consequences of a criminal charge don't end when a criminal sentence is served. If jailed, victims of crime can act to block your early release, and the restrictions and stigma imposed by a criminal record can haunt you for years to come.
Even if a misdemeanor or non-violent incident on your record can be damaging, but there are steps you can take to seal or block your records. Life doesn't end with sentencing, and it's important that you take every step you can to protect your future.
Can Victims of Crime Interfere with Your Parole?
In Pennsylvania, prison sentences are indeterminate. You are given a minimum and maximum term. Once you have served your minimum term, you have a parole board hearing where you can prove what progress you have made and make your case for early release. Under Pennsylvania law, the victim or family member can testify to the parole board expressing their opinion concerning release. However much personal improvement has been made, this testimony can still greatly influence a parole board. As a result, victims of crime still have a chance, perhaps unfairly, to keep convicted criminals behind bars.
However, while prisoners have restricted rights, they may still have an attorney to help and guide them. In the best case, you could serve your minimum sentence, become eligible for parole, and be released. In some limited cases for minor offenses, it may even be possible to file a Petition for Early Parole.
Can you get your criminal record expunged?
A criminal record doesn't just make it difficult to find work. It can also block your access to student loans and grants, professional licenses and certifications, and housing. The best move forwards for any convicted offender is to secure a court order destroying their criminal record. If granted an expungement, it is as though, for all intents and purposes, the offense never happened ()in most instances when inquiries are made. With a clear history, you can look forward to better employment opportunities and a brighter future. That said, while changes to PA's clean slate law' in recent years have cut court costs and broaden access to record relief outside of traditional expungement, Pennsylvania still has some of the most restrictive expungement laws in the country. Expungement is not automatic (in almost all instances) and is not available to all offenders, but a skilled attorney will be able to explore all options available to clear your record. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience pursuing all avenues to clear his client's criminal records no matter the circumstances.
Do You Need Help Rebuilding Your Life?
It's incredibly frustrating when you're trying to move forward with your life but cannot due to your criminal record. Joseph D. Lento is committed not only to defending your rights but to fighting for the brightest future available to you. From working with the prosecution to have them dismiss charges outright to defending you in court, he has the experience you need to secure your best possible outcome.
Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm as soon as possible at 888-535-3686 to discuss your options.