Sullivan County is located in northeastern Pennsylvania. The county is one of the state's less populated counties, with only just over 6,000 residents in its community. The county answers to the Sullivan County Court of Common Pleas in all matters of law. The court is located in the Laporte, PA. The court also maintains all records within the county, including those kept for criminal offenses or arrests.
Sullivan County Expungement
Individuals who seek to clear their names through an expungement motion in Sullivan County must first meet the requirements set by the state of Pennsylvania. The state holds strict authority on who may and may not obtain an expungement. The requirements for expunging one's records include:
- One is over the age of 70, and has not faced criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years
- One was convicted on a summary offense, has completed their sentence, and at least five (5) years have passed without additional criminal offenses.
- One was offered and has completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program in lieu of suffering a criminal conviction.
- If a person went to trial, for example, at the Sullivan County District Court level or, as would more likely be the case, at the Court of Common Pleas in Laporte, and was found not guilty of a charge or charges, such criminal charges will be eligible to be expunged.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Sullivan County Court, or withdrawn by the Sullivan County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn in some instances may be a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
Sullivan County Record Sealing
When a person has accrued more substantial criminal records within Sullivan County, they may be able clear their name per Pennsylvania law using a separate process from the standard expungement. This process is known as sealing one's records, and it makes use of Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. When a person files a motion for record sealing, in order to seal their records, a person must petition the court after ten (10) years have passed since the completion of their sentence, without further or additional criminal proceedings. Only 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded misdemeanor records may be sealed under this process. Certain specific offenses are precluded, and a person's particular circumstances must also meet Pennsylvania's eligibility requirements to have their records sealed in Sullivan County.
Sullivan County Juvenile Records
When a person faces a criminal charge or conviction prior to their 18th birthday, the court will often classify it as a juvenile record. While many believe that these records will simply expire after a person's 18th birthday, this notion is false. These records must be expunged just as an adult record must be if a person seeks to avoid continued consequences from having a record. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law allows for more lenient circumstances under which a person may expunge their juvenile records. These circumstances include:
- A person was convicted on a juvenile charge, has served their sentence, and at least five (5) years have passed since that time without any more criminal proceedings against them.
- A person was arrested on a juvenile charge but later had the charges dropped.
- A person is over the age of 18 and has convinced the court through their petition to expunge the record outright.
- A person was placed under court-mandated supervision, has completed the period of supervision, and at least six (6) months have passed without further or additional criminal proceedings.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Laporte, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Laporte
When expunging a criminal record in Sullivan County, whether as an adult, juvenile or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Sullivan County, the Sullivan County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Sullivan County Court of Common Pleas is located at 245 Muncy Street, Laporte, PA 18626.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Sullivan County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Sullivan County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The District Attorney's Office is located in the Sullivan County Courthouse; the address to the District Attorney's Office is 245 Muncy Street, P.O. Box 157, Laporte, PA 18626.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Sullivan County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Sullivan 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 Laporte, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Sullivan 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 Sullivan County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Sullivan 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 Sullivan County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the Sullivan County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Sullivan County Expungement | Attorney for Sullivan County Record Sealing
Individuals that wish to better their employment opportunities, enter into higher education, further their through professional licensure may be severely hindered by any prior arrest or criminal records left outstanding. For this reason, expungement and record sealing are crucial motions to file with the court. Unfortunately, when a person seeks to file such motions themselves, they are unlikely to receive necessary direction from the court. Any missteps or errors in the process can cause a person to have to start from the beginning, which can delay their progress in other aspects of their life. An experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney will have much more experience in filing motions with the court and will be able to get the expungement completed quickly and with a much higher chance of success.
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 to expunge a record in Laporte or Sullivan County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.