How can I get my criminal record expunged?
Did you get an underage drinking offense? Want to get your DUI expunged from your record? Is a prior misdemeanor charge holding you back from getting hired by employers?
In general, a criminal history record (criminal record) can be expunged when:
1. a person reaches 70 years old and hasn't had any criminal problems in 10 years; or
2. a person has been dead for 3 years;or
3. a person is charged with a summary offense (underage drinking, simple marijuana possession etc.) and they petition the court for expungment and have been free from arrest or criminal trouble for 5 years.
Different crimes require different types of petitions for expungment and are sometimes harder to get. Here are some examples.
ARD Program: To be eligible for this program you usually have to have no criminal record and a typical offense such as a DUI, minor drug possession or petty theft. Upon successful completion of your probation and community service, your record will be be expunged without any further action requested.
Summary Offenses: Rule 490 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure govern a request to expunge a summary offense. Summary offenses are less serious than misdemeanors or felony charges, but still remain on your record unless you petition the court to expunge your record. Make sure you stay out of trouble for 5 years first or it could be denied by the judge.
Misdemeanors and Felony Offenses: Rule 790 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure governs all petitions to expunge misdemeanor and felony offenses. These offenses are generally harder to get expunged than a summary offense because of the severity of the law that was broken. Sometimes a hearing is required in front of a judge if the prosecutor doesn't consent to allow you get your record expunged.
If you have any further questions, call Attorney Patrick M. Rogan.