Criminal charges can haunt you for years, even if the charge was dropped or a court found you not guilty. Criminal background checks reveal any arrests on your record unless you have worked with the court to have the information expunged from your record.
In some situations, individuals convicted of an offense may have their conviction expunged as well. However, the process of obtaining an expungement is complex, so people frequently choose to work with a knowledgeable Delaware County expungement lawyer. A tenacious criminal lawyer familiar with the expungement requirements could determine whether you are eligible for expungement and then apply to the court on your behalf to wipe your record clean.
Not everyone charged with a crime is eligible to have that information removed from the record. Expungement is only available in specific situations.
Under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §9122, an individual charged with a crime in Delaware County may have the record expunged if:
Also, those convicted of some misdemeanor offenses may be entitled to file a petition for limited access to the record under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §9122.1 if they have been free from conviction for ten years or more and fulfilled all obligations from prior convictions. A Delaware County expungement lawyer could help an individual determine their eligibility for expungement or a petition for limited access.
An expungement is an order issued by the court that removes the record of an arrest, and sometimes a conviction, from public view. The record remains visible to law enforcement agencies in very limited situations. If expungement is not available under the circumstances, a diligent attorney in Delaware County could assist with filing a petition for limited access.
When someone successfully petitions for “limited access” to a criminal record, the process is similar, but more law enforcement agencies and other government agencies may have access to the records than if those records were expunged. Both expungement and limited access provisions can prevent a past criminal record from appearing in criminal background checks, making it easier to obtain employment, housing, and other necessities.
To have a record expunged or to limit access to that record, the person involved must file a petition with the court in the county where the case was filed. The district attorney may challenge the petition and ask for a hearing to determine whether the request should be granted or denied.
Even if the DA does not contest a petition for expungement or limited access, the process of obtaining expungement is complex, and it is necessary to comply with court rules and procedures in order to meet with success. For that reason, the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas recommends that those seeking information on expungement in cases involving the A.R.D. program contact an attorney for assistance.
An experienced Delaware County expungement lawyer could review your situation and explain your options and how they could affect your future. For a free consultation, call now.