Pennsylvania Expungement: FAQ

Many people wonder what an expungement is, how it might affect their lives and how one can be obtained in Pennsylvania.

Please read the following to learn more about expungement in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

What is an expungement?

An expungement is the removal of information from official records about a conviction for a crime committed in Pennsylvania.

After expungement, are all records of a conviction destroyed?

No. After a criminal record is expunged, certain records may be retained by officials to help make determinations in the future regarding parole eligibility and similar matters. But if someone such as a prospective employer searches for a record of criminal convictions, the expunged records won't be available to them.

Who is eligible to have their criminal history expunged?

  • Anyone who has reached the age of 70 and has not been arrested or prosecuted in the previous 10 years.
  • A person convicted of a summary offense who has not been arrested or convicted for five years following the summary offense conviction. Examples of summary offenses include public drunkenness and retail theft.
  • Someone 21 years old or above convicted of underage drinking violations, if they've successfully completed all terms of their sentence.

Who is not eligible to have their criminal history record expunged?

Anyone who has been convicted of any of the following if the victim was under age 18:

  • Rape
  • Statutory sexual assault
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated indecent assault
  • Indecent assault
  • Indecent exposure
  • Prostitution
  • Crimes relating to obscene sexual materials

How can I get a Pennsylvania criminal record expunged?

You must petition the court to expunge your records. This is typically done with the assistance of an experienced expungement attorney.