What is the expungement process for a criminal charge in Pennsylvania? VIDEO

The expungement process for a criminal charge in Pennsylvania would start with determining a person's eligibility. If a person is in fact determined to be eligible for an expungement, it would be a matter of obtaining the necessary court records and information, working with that information to draft the necessary pleadings. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Most counties have similar processes. Some are slightly different. Some use a slightly backwards approach, but once the pleadings are filed, they would be filed with the clerk of courts in the applicable county.

In some counties, the clerk of courts will serve the District Attorney's Office. In other counties, the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney would have to serve the District Attorney's Office, potentially court administration also. The District Attorney's Office at the given time, they would be required to provide their position regarding the request, whether they consent or object.

In some instances, the District Attorney's Office, they can be slow in responding, regrettably, so steps have to be taken to prod them to provide their position. If there's no objection, if the District Attorney's Office consents, in other words, the expungement order would generally be presented to the judge. The judge would sign off on the expungement order. If there were to be an objection, there would be the need for a contested hearing where at that time, the District Attorney's Office would argue as to why the expungement should not take place. The petitioner or the petitioner's attorney would have to argue why the expungement should be granted.

If the expungement is granted, then it would be served upon the applicable law enforcement, government, and court agencies depending on the nature of the case. They would vary in terms of who would specifically be involved, although there's certain general agencies that are involved. Pennsylvania State Police, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, the LPC, the FBI, and again, some other specific courts and other agencies that would be involved in a specific case.

That's the process. Generally, each county has certain unique processes that would have to be attended to. Having an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will help you best understand the process and how to best try to get an expungement granted.

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