Tioga County is located on the northern border of Pennsylvania, sharing a boundary with the state of New York. The county itself is home to over 41,000 residents. All legal matters within the county are resolved by the Tioga County Court of Common Pleas, located in Wellsboro, PA. This court maintains all legal records within the county, including any criminal or arrest records that are generated within the county's borders. When a person wishes to have these records cleared, they must petition this court using the appropriate motion.
Tioga County Expungement
When a person seeks to clear their name in Tioga County, one process available to them is expungement. An expungement is only attainable, however, if a person has met the Pennsylvania state requirements for the motion. If a person seeks to expunge their records, one of the following circumstances must apply:
- A person was convicted of a summary offense, has completed their sentence, and at least five (5) years have passed without additional criminal incidents.
- A person is over the age of 70 and has not faced any additional criminal matters for at least ten (10) years.
- A person was offered a chance to participate in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program and has completed the program.
- If a person went to trial, for example, at the Tioga County District Court level or, as would more often be the case, at the Court of Common Pleas in Wellsboro, 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- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Tioga County Court, or withdrawn by the Tioga County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn in some instances may be a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
Tioga County Record Sealing
When a person has records of a more serious nature, they may make use of a separate process to clear their name. This process is known as record sealing, and it makes use of Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. These laws will prevent a person's records and convictions from being accessed during most background checks. Records for 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or ungraded misdemeanors may be sealed through this process. In order to be eligible for this process, a person must have fully completed their sentencing, and not have faced any additional criminal charges for at least ten (10) years. Many misdemeanor convictions will be eligible to be sealed, but it is important to note that certain convictions are specifically ineligible and that a person also has to meet secondary eligibility requirements.
Tioga County Juvenile Expungements
When a person is under the age of 18 and faces criminal charges, the court will classify their records as juvenile records in most instances. While many believe that these records will expire once a person comes of age, the truth of the matter is that these records will continue to exist even after a person's 18th birthday. Juvenile records are eligible for expungement through more lenient circumstances than standard adult records in Pennsylvania. A person may expunge their juvenile record if:
- If they have fulfilled their sentence for a juvenile conviction, and at least five (5) years have passed since without additional criminal charges.
- If they have fulfilled a court-ordered supervisory period, and at least six (6) months have passed since the supervision ended.
- If they were arrested on juvenile charges, had the charges dropped, and are not currently facing additional criminal proceedings.
- If they are over the age of 18 and have been able to persuade the court to grant an expungement through their petition.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Wellsboro
When expunging a criminal record in Tioga County, whether as an adult, juvenile or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Tioga County, the Tioga County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed; located at 118 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Tioga County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Tioga County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The District Attorney's Office is located in the Tioga County Courthouse; the address, as above, is 118 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Tioga County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Tioga 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 Wellsboro, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Tioga 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 Tioga County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Tioga 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 Tioga County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the Tioga County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Tioga County Expungement | Attorney for Tioga County Record Sealing
When a person seeks to advance their life or career through better employment opportunities, higher education, or a professional license, they may be hindered by their records. Seeking expungement or the sealing of one's records can be a taxing process for individuals who are not familiar with filing motions with the court. In addition, the court may not provide adequate direction for someone seeking to expunge their records. Errors in the process can result in delays or having to start the process over from the beginning. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, it may be best to have these motions handled by an attorney; 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 seeking an expungement or record sealing in Wellsboro or Tioga County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.