Wayne County is located on the northeastern border of Pennsylvania, sharing the state line with neighboring counties in the state of New York. The county has over 51,000 residents within its boroughs and townships. The county is served in all matters of law by the Wayne County Court of Common Pleas, located in Honesdale, PA. The court is responsible for overseeing all matters of law within the county. The court also holds all records within the county for criminal convictions and arrests. A person that seeks to clear their name of these records must petition this court with the appropriate motion.
Wayne County Expungements
A person that wishes to expunge their Wayne County records must first determine whether or not they have met the state's requirements for an expungement. Pennsylvania has strict requirements for a person to expunge their record. These requirements include:
- A person is over the age of 70 and has not faced criminal charges for the past 10 years
- A person was convicted on a summary offense, has fulfilled their sentence, and at least 5 years have passed without additional criminal offenses
- A person has completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program
Wayne County Record Sealing
A person who has more serious records in Wayne County may go about clearing their name through a separate process known as record sealing. The process makes use of the states "limited access" laws. A motion filed under these laws, when successful, will prevent a person's records from being accessed during a background check. In order to be eligible for a record sealing motion a person must not have faced criminal charges or matters for at least 10 years. In addition, their records must be at the level of a 2nd degree, 3rd degree, or ungraded misdemeanor.
Wayne County Juvenile Records
When a person faces criminal charges or is arrested prior to their 18th birthday, they will likely have a juvenile record formed regarding the incident. These records are just as lasting as adult records, and will not simply vanish or expire upon a person's 18th birthday. Pennsylvania allows for much more lenient circumstances upon which a person may expunge their juvenile records. These circumstances include:
- A person is over 18 and has convinced the court through their petition to grant an expungement
- A person was convicted on a juvenile charge, completed their sentence, and has allowed 5 years to pass without additional criminal matters against them
- A person was placed under court supervision, fulfilled their supervisory period, and has allowed at least 6 months to pass without additional criminal matters
- A person was arrested on a juvenile charge, but the charge was dropped
Seeking out motions for expungement or record sealing are crucial for individuals who wish to enter higher education or hold a professional license. Old criminal or arrest records left alone can prove a hindrance to anyone seeking to advance their career. A person seeking to file an expungement on their own may not receive helpful direction from the courts. Any errors in the process can result in delays or having to start from the very beginning. To reduce the likelihood of this occurring it may be best to consult with an attorney when conducting these motions.
If you or a loved one is in need of an expungement in Wayne County, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.