York County is located on the southern border of Pennsylvania, sharing the state line with Maryland, at the Mason-Dixon line. The county is made up of over 442,000 residents among its townships and boroughs. The county is served in all matters of law by the York County Court of Common Pleas, located in York, PA. The court is responsible for overseeing all matters of law within the county, as well as maintaining records for any arrests and criminal convictions within the county. Individuals who wish to clear their name of these records must petition this court.
Expungements in York County
In order to pursue an expungement motion in York County, an individual must first ensure that they are within the bounds of Pennsylvania law. The state only allows certain individuals to obtain an expungement. A person may expunge their record if:
- They have completed an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
- They have been convicted of a summary offense, completed their sentencing, and at least five (5) years have passed since without further criminal proceedings.
- They are over the age of 70 years old, and at least ten (10) years have passed without additional criminal offenses.
- If a person was arrested, but the criminal charges were, for example, dismissed by the York County Court, or withdrawn by the York County District Attorney's Office, these charges may be eligible for expungement; the appropriate form of relief for charges that were dismissed or withdrawn in some instances may be a "partial" expungement, also known as a "redaction."
- If a person went to trial, for example, at the York County District Court level or, as would more likely be the case, at the Court of Common Pleas in York, and was found not guilty of a charge or charges, such criminal charges will be eligible to be expunged.
Record Sealing in York County
When a person has more serious records within the county, they may be able to clear their name using a different process. A person may make use of a process known as record sealing by using Pennsylvania's "Limited Access" laws to seal their records. A successful motion under this process allows a person to prevent their records from being accessed during a background check. In order to be eligible for this form of relief, however, a person must have fully completed their sentence, and also not have faced additional criminal proceedings for at least ten (10) years time. Furthermore, only records of 2nd degree, 3rd degree, and ungraded level misdemeanors may be sealed under this motion. Although certain specific misdemeanor convictions are also specifically ineligible, if a person otherwise meets the eligibility requirements, most ungraded, 3rd-degree and 2nd-degree misdemeanor convictions will be eligible to be sealed in Pennsylvania.
Juvenile Expungement in York County
A person that faces criminal charges, convictions, or arrests prior to their 18th birthday will likely have accrued juvenile records. While these records are reflective of a person's age influencing their actions, they are by no means temporary; contrary to what popular belief may have a person believe. Instead, these records should be expunged just as an adult record should be when eligible. Fortunately, Pennsylvania requirements for a juvenile expungement are more lenient. A person will be eligible to have their juvenile record expunged if any of the following conditions are met:
- A person was convicted on juvenile offense, completed their sentence, and five (5) years have passed since without criminal proceedings.
- A person was placed under court supervision, has completed the supervisory period, and six (6) months have passed since without criminal proceedings.
- A person was arrested on juvenile charges, the charges have been dropped, and they are not facing any additional charges.
- A person is over the age of 18, and the court has granted their request for an expungement based on their argument in their petition.
Clearing Your Criminal Record in York, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Expungement Process in York
When expunging a criminal record in York County, whether as an adult, juvenile or after ARD is complete or sealing a criminal record in York County, the York County Court of Common Pleas will be where the matter is addressed. The York County Court of Common Pleas is located at 45 N. George Street, York, PA 17401.
The person seeking the expungement or criminal record sealing inYork County will be the "petitioner" in the case, and the York County District Attorney's Office will be the "respondent." The District Attorney's Office is located in the York County Courthouse; the address, as above, is 45 N. George Street, York, PA 17401.
The process for an expungement or criminal record sealing in York County will proceed without issue in most instances if the York 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 York, PA, will depend on the specifics of the York 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 York County as comprehensively as possible.
Because the York 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 York County Clerk of Courts requires one (1) original pleading unlike most Pennsylvania counties, with the petitioning party being responsible for serving the York County District Attorney's Office.
Finding the Best Attorney for York County Expungement | Attorney for York County Record Sealing
Expungement and record sealing are two crucial motions for anyone who wishes to better their employment prospects or enhance their career options through education or professional licensing. A person's past criminal records can seriously jeopardize their chances at success in these areas. When a person attempts these motions on their own, the court can be a confusing and unfriendly environment. Errors in the filing process can lead to having to start from the beginning; if not result in an outright denial of relief. When seeking to file these motions, it is best to consult with an attorney to reduce the likelihood of delays and to maximize the prospect of success; an experienced Pennsylvania expungement attorney can help.
If you or your loved one is in need of an expungement or criminal record sealing in York County, PA, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.