When a person has an arrest or criminal record in Pennsylvania, they will want to clear their name in the state. Records can hinder a person's progress towards their career or education. In addition, these records may prevent a person from holding state licensing as well. There are a number of different methods that allow a person to clear their name. Expungements, record sealing motions, and redactions are all methods available to defendants.
The most common method of clearing a person's name in Pennsylvania is through the use of an expungement motion. Expungements are useful for convictions of summary offenses, lower level convictions, and other records provided that a person has met the state's expungement requirements.
If a person has a more serious record, such as a misdemeanor arrest or conviction, Pennsylvania also allows for them to clear their name under the state's special "limited access" laws. Successful motions under these laws can allow a person to seal records of certain misdemeanor acts, provided that they have met the specific eligibility requirements for this motion. A successful record sealing motion will prevent a person's records from being accessed during certain background checks.
A redaction is a form of expungement used for instances where a person has been arrested, but not convicted of the crime they were charged with. Much like a conviction, an arrest record will interfere with a person's life goals and should be expunged. Arrest records will continue to come up on any background checks, even though a person was not convicted of these crimes. A person may apply for a redaction motion for their arrest record if they are not currently facing criminal charges and their charges associated with the arrest.
Pennsylvania Expungement Attorney
When a person wishes to file for an expungement, record sealing motion, or a redaction, the process for doing so can be complex. Successful motions depend on a number of factors. Filing these motions on their own can become an arduous task for a person who is inexperienced matters of the law. When a person seeks direction from the court, the court employees may not be able to spare time and resources to provide adequate guidance on how to file. For this reason, it may be best to have an attorney handle an expungement. An attorney will be able to file the expungement without error and can reduce the likelihood of delay.