Warren County is on the northern border of Pennsylvania, sharing the state line with New York. The county has over 40,000 residents in its bounds. The county is supported in all matters of the law by the Warren County Court of Common Pleas, located in Warren, PA. The court is responsible for settling all legal disputes and also for maintaining records of criminal and arrest records that arise within the county. If a person wishes to have these records sealed, they must petition the court with an appropriate motion.
Expungement in Warren County
When a person wishes to expunge their records in Warren County, they must first ensure that they meet the standards of state law for obtaining an expungement. Pennsylvania only allows narrow circumstances for expungement. These can include:
- A person over the age of 70 and has not faced any additional criminal charges for at least 10 years
- A person was convicted on a summary offense, has fulfilled their assigned sentencing, and has not faced any more criminal charges for at least 5 years
- A person has completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program
Record Sealing in Warren County
If a person has higher leveled criminal offenses in Warren County, they may clear their name through a separate process known as record sealing. This process can seal even misdemeanor records. A successful motion under this process will prevent access to a person's records through Pennsylvania's "limited access" laws. A person's 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or ungraded misdemeanor records can be sealed under these laws. In order to be eligible for the filing of this motion, a person must have completed their sentence, and not faced any criminal charges for at least 10 years.
Juvenile Records in Warren County
When a person faces criminal charges or is arrested before they come of age, the court will likely classify these records as juvenile records. These records, contrary to popular urban mythology, do not disappear upon a person's 18th birthday. Fortunately, Pennsylvania allows a person to expunge their records under much less strict circumstances than standard adult expungements. These include:
- A person was convicted on a juvenile offense, has completed their sentence, and has not faced additional criminal charges for at least 5 years
- A person was arrested on juvenile charges, has had the charges withdrawn, and is not currently facing any additional criminal matters
- A person was placed under court supervision, completed the supervision, and has not faced any additional criminal matters for at least 6 months
- A person is over the age of 18 and has convinced the court through petition to expunge their juvenile record outright
A person's past records can very seriously interfere with their goals to advance their education or career. Many colleges, universities, trade schools and other professional licensing agencies require background checks, and old records may hinder a person's progress. When a person attempts to file for an expungement on their own, the court may not provide an adequate level of guidance. Any errors or missteps in the filing can cause a person to have results delayed, or to have to start from the beginning altogether. To reduce the likelihood of this occurring, a person should consult with an attorney when filing these motions.
If you or a loved one is seeking to expunge a record in Warren County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.