Union County is located in the central region of Pennsylvania. The county's boroughs and townships contain over 44,000 residents. The county is served in all matters of law by the Union County Court of Common Pleas, located in Lewisburg, PA. The court is the highest authority within the county and maintains all records for criminal convictions and arrests that occur within the county. When a person wishes to clear their name, they must file the appropriate motion with this court.
Expungement in Union County
When a person wishes to file a motion for expungement in Union County, they must first adhere to Pennsylvania's requirements for an expungement. These requirements only permit a person to expunge their record under certain circumstances. The requirements to file a motion for expungement include:
- A person is over the age of 70, and has not faced additional criminal charges for over ten (10) years.
- A person was offered participation in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, has completed the program and is not facing additional charges.
- A person was convicted on a summary offense, has fulfilled their sentence, and has not faced criminal charges for at least five (5) years.
- If a person went to trial, for example, at the Union County District Court level or, as would more likely be the case, at the Court of Common Pleas in Lewisburg, 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- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the Union County Court, or withdrawn by the Union County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn in some instances may be a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
Juvenile Records in Union County
When a person is charged with a crime or arrested as a juvenile, the corresponding record associated with the incident will normally be classified as a juvenile record. While many believe these records are simply temporary, the truth is that these records can continue to impact a person's life even after their 18th birthday unless they are expunged. Pennsylvania is more lenient when it comes to expunging juvenile records. If a person wishes to file for a juvenile expungement in Union County, one of the following circumstances must apply:
- A person was convicted of a juvenile offense, has served their sentence, and has not faced any additional criminal matters for at least five (5) years.
- A person was arrested on juvenile charges, but the charges were dropped and they are not currently facing any other criminal matters.
- A person was placed under court-ordered supervision, the supervisory period has concluded, and they have not faced additional criminal charges for at least six (6) months.
- A person is over the age of 18 and has convinced the court through their petition to expunge the record outright.
Sealing Records in Union County
When a person has faced more serious criminal charges, they may be able to clear their name using a different process. This process is known as record sealing, and it makes use of Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws. These laws prevent a person's records within the county from being accessed during a background check, if the motion is successful. A person's misdemeanor records at the ungraded, 3rd degree or 2nd-degree level may be eligible to be sealed through this process. Although certain convictions are specifically prohibited from being sealed, most will be eligible. If the misdemeanor conviction itself is eligible to be sealed, a person has to meet certain secondary eligibility requirements.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in Lewisburg
When expunging a criminal record in Union County, whether as an adult, juvenile or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in Union County, the Union County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The Union County Court of Common Pleas is located at 103 S. Second Street, Lewisburg, PA 17837.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing in Union County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the Union County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The District Attorney's Office is located in the Union County Courthouse; the address, as above, is 103 S. Second Street, Lewisburg, PA 17837.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in Union County will proceed without issue in most instances if the Union 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 Lewisburg, PA, will depend on the specifics of the Union 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 Union County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the Union 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 Union County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the Union County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for Union County Expungement | Attorney for Union County Record Sealing
Prior arrest or criminal records within Union County can seriously hinder a person's progress in their life, especially if they attempt to advance their career through education or by pursuing a professional license. When a person seeks to clear their name of any prior records, they may encounter difficulty within the court. While the filings can be done individually, the court rarely provides proper guidance on how to do so, which can delay a person's progress, or cause them to start over. To reduce the potential of this from happening, it may be best to consult with an attorney when filing these motions.
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 or seal records in Lewisburg or Union County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.