Snyder County is located in the central region of Pennsylvania. The county is home to over 40,000 residents living among its townships and boroughs. All matters of law within the county are handled by the Snyder County Court of Common Pleas, located in the county seat of Middleburg, PA. The court is responsible for resolving legal disputes within the county, and also maintaining the records of those who have been convicted or arrested within the county.
Expungements in Snyder County
When a person wishes to expunge their criminal records in Snyder County, they must first be within the bounds allowed by the state of Pennsylvania to obtain an expungement. The state has strict guidelines for what situations allow a person to expunge a record. These situations include:
- If a person has been convicted on a summary offense, they may expunge their record after five (5) years have passed without criminal proceedings once they have fulfilled their sentencing.
- If a person was offered a chance to complete an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, they may be eligible to expunge their record once the program has been completed.
- If a person is over the age of 70, they may expunge their records if at least ten (10) years have passed without any additional criminal proceedings against them.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Snyder County Court, or withdrawn by the Snyder County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn in some instances may be a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
- If a person went to trial, for example, at the Snyder County District Court level or, as would more likely be the case, at the Court of Common Pleas in Middleburg, and was found not guilty of a charge or charges, such criminal charges will be eligible for expungement.
Sealing Records in Snyder County
For more serious offenses, Pennsylvania allows a person to seal their records through the use of the state's "Limited Access" laws. A successful motion under these laws will prevent a person's records from being accessed during certain background checks. In order for a person to be eligible for their records to be sealed, they must not have faced any criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years. In addition, the records they wish to seal must be at the level of a 3rd degree, 2nd degree, or ungraded misdemeanor offense. Certain exceptions also exist depending on the specific charge and the person's particular circumstances.
Juvenile Expungements in Snyder County
When a person is under the age of 18, if they are arrested or convicted of a crime, their record will likely be classified as a juvenile offense. While many believe that these records will simply expire and no longer affect them once they reach the age of 18, this belief is false. These records should be taken just as seriously as adult records, and expunged in the same way. Pennsylvania allows for more lenient standards for expungement for juvenile records. A person may expunge their juvenile record if:
- If they have been arrested on a juvenile offense, and the charges were later dismissed.
- If they have served a period of court supervision, and at least six (6) months have passed since the supervision's conclusion without further criminal proceedings.
- If they are over 18 and have convinced the court through their petition to expunge their record.
- If they have been convicted of a juvenile offense, and at least five (5) years have passed since the completion of their sentencing without additional criminal proceedings.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Middleburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Middleburg
When expunging a criminal record in Snyder County, whether as an adult, juvenile or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Snyder County, the Snyder County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Snyder County Court of Common Pleas is located at 9 W. Market Street, Middleburg, PA 1784.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Snyder County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Snyder County Office of the District Attorney will be the "respondent." The Snyder County Office of the District Attorney is located in the Snyder County Courthouse; the address is: Office of the District Attorney, Attorney's Office, Snyder County Courthouse, P.O. Box 217, Middleburg, PA 17842.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Snyder County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Snyder County Officer of the District Attorney 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 Middleburg, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Snyder 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 Snyder County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Snyder 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 Snyder County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the Snyder County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Snyder County Expungement | Attorney for Snyder County Record Sealing
Motioning for the sealing or expungement of records is critical to those who wish to better their employment prospects, enter into higher education, or hold a professional license. A person's arrest or criminal records can severely hinder a person's chances at furthering their career or life goals. When a person attempts to conduct these filings on their own, they may encounter difficulty, as the courts seldom provide adequate guidance on how to file these motions. Missteps in filings can cause a person to have to start the process from the beginning; if not result in an outright denial of relief. To reduce the chances of suffering unnecessary delays and setbacks, a person should consult with an attorney when attempting to expunge their record; 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 attempting to file an expungement or record sealing in Middleburg or Snyder County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.