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Can I expunge my record?

I am often asked by people who have experienced the criminal justice system resulting in a conviction or a diversionary program if their "record" can be expunged.  In Pennsylvania, until recently, once an adult is convicted of a crime, they cannot expunge the conviction regardless of the crime.  In other words, if you were convicted of Drunk Driving or any other crime, you could not get it expunged.  This still remains the law in most situations.  If asked on a job application or a security clearance or a college admission application if you've been convicted of a crime, the answer should be a truthful "yes".  In December 2008, a new law was passed that allows for the expungement of a summary offense conviction to be expunged after 5 years have passed since the conviction and there are no further arrests or convictions.

The other exceptions are if you were placed into ARD or other diversionary program, received Section 17 under the Drug Act or were a juvenile when the adjudication took place.  Different rules apply, and they can be confusing.  Contact one of our criminal lawyers and we will be happy to answer your questions and let you know if you are entitled to have your crimnal record expunged.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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