Expungement in a Pennsylvania criminal defense case is the step that a person would often take, if possible, at the end of the case to have their records expunged, meaning to have their records destroyed per Pennsylvania law. A person would be eligible for an expungement in certain instances. If it's a summary offense, say, resolved at the district court.
If a person pleaded guilty or found guilty, they would be eligible for an expungement. If they've remained arrest and prosecution-free for five years. For, say, college students or professionals who are concerned about their records in particular, it's often best to come to a constructive resolution rather than pleading guilty to a summary offense, regardless of the charge.
For a misdemeanor or a felony, a person, if they're convicted, they would only become eligible for an expungement if they're 70 years of age and other conditions are met or if they're deceased and other conditions are met. That's obviously a limited exception. If a person were found not guilty or if the charges were withdrawn or dismissed, a person would be eligible for an expungement.
Having an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will be able to best understand when it would be best to seek an expungement and your eligibility for an expungement and having them involved is going to allow for the best understanding of the process.