How Our Attorneys Can Help You Clear Your Name
Updated: Jan 6, 2021
‘Expunge’ is the legal term for having your criminal record cleared. If you wish to pursue expunging your record, a criminal defense attorney can help you through the process. Pennsylvania law has specific procedures that must be followed and qualifications that must be met to have your record expunged.
The Expungement Process
To have an adult record expunged you need to file a Petition for Expungement with the Court of Common Pleas. The petition must be filed with the county or counties where the past offenses occurred. Depending on the nature of the offense there are two different types of petitions, one for violations and one for felonies and misdemeanors.
Expunging a juvenile record can happen under certain circumstances, generally dependent on the accused’s age, how much time has elapsed since the offense occurred, and if any other charges are pending. DNA records cannot be expunged unless you have been proven to be wrongfully arrested, or if the case was dropped or reversed.
Receive a Pardon
There are criminal charges which the state will not allow you to have removed from your record. Others can be removed, but they cannot be expunged. Instead, you will need to have them pardoned by the state governor. The process is a lengthy one and the pardon is never guaranteed, but having a criminal defense attorney in the Doylestown, PA area on your side will improve your chances of receiving the pardon.
In June of 2018, Governor Wolf signed a bill that expanded the list of offenses that are eligible for record sealing. Instead of having your record expunged, having a record sealed prevents it from being publicly accessible. This means that schools, landlords, and most employers won’t be able to see your criminal record. Employers such as government agencies, law enforcement, licensing agencies, prosecutors, and employers legally required to perform a background check will still be able to access this information. While your name isn’t entirely cleared, the Clean Slate Law makes it possible for attorneys in Bucks County, PA to help you take back control over your employment and housing situation.
The Clean Slate Law has continued to expand since its initial signing, having done so as recently as October of this year.
All the Information You Need in One Place
Do you have questions about eligibility for expungement or a pardon? Are your past offenses now covered by the Clean Slate Bill? We understand that navigating the law can be a complicated endeavor and finding answers to these questions can be tricky. That’s where we at Schatz and Stancu come in. For almost thirty years we have helped people in Pennsylvania assert their rights and pursue justice. If you or someone you know needs a criminal defense attorney representing Bucks County, PA contact our law office right away. Never hesitate to ensure your rights are protected.