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Can I have my criminal conviction expunged?

If you have been arrested for a criminal offense in Philadelphia or other parts of Pennsylvania, you may be interested in having this history removed from your record. Such information can show up on background checks and inhibit your ability to get a job, a place to live and more even if it is decades old. That DUI you received when you were 22 can still hurt you when you are 52. Can you get an arrest or conviction removed from your record in Pennsylvania? In some cases, you can. There are certain situations, however, in which an expungement may not be possible.

According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, convictions for many sex crimes are not eligible for expungement. These include offenses such as rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure and others if the alleged victim was a minor at the time. Offenses involving alcohol that occurred after you reached the age of 18 may be eligible for expungement. Once you are 21 or older, you may petition the court for this if you have successfully completed all requirements of your sentence.

Other situations that may qualify for expungement involve cases in which a defendant has completed all jail or probation sentences at least 10 years ago and has since turned 70 years of age. Additionally, 36 months after the death of a defendant, a record may be able to be expunged. Other persons may request that a court expunge a record five or more years after the conviction date.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about expunging criminal conviction histories in Pennsylvania.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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