Newtown Expungement Lawyers
Reputable Criminal Defense Lawyers Represent Clients in Obtaining Expungements in Newtown and Elsewhere in Pennsylvania
A criminal conviction—even one that occurred far in the past—can impact your ability to get a job, find an apartment or even take out a bank loan. The embarrassment of having to disclose a past criminal conviction can pose a significant detriment to those individuals looking to move forward with all aspects of their lives. The difficulty of explaining why a past criminal conviction might hinder certain milestones or advancements can even impact your personal and professional relationships for the rest of your life.
Historically, obtaining an expungement in Newtown or elsewhere in Pennsylvania has been extremely difficult, as expungements were available only in very limited cases. However, a newly developed law now permits a “limited expungement”, which operates as a form of record sealing, in a much more broad array of criminal cases. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our skilled team of Newtown expungements lawyers are here to help you get the fresh start you need to keep past mistakes in the past.
Determining Eligibility for Expanded Expungement of Criminal Records in Newtown, PA
In general, to be eligible to have your record cleared under the expanded law that now applies in Newtown, Pennsylvania cases, you must satisfy the following strict criteria:
- The criminal conviction must be a misdemeanor 2 or misdemeanor 3 crime (known as “M2” and “M3” crimes),
- You must have no arrests, prosecutions or convictions for ten years following the date when you completed your sentence (including periods of probation and parole following incarceration),
- The criminal offense involved must have carried a maximum penalty of no more than two years in prison,
- The criminal offense involved must not be specifically excluded under the expungement statute.
Because of the severity associated with some types of criminal offenses and some circumstances where an individual has been convicted of multiple offenses, the legislature has determined that expungement is not in line with public policy in all cases, even if the offense otherwise satisfies the criteria listed above. Those offenses and circumstances have been specifically excluded under the limited expungement statute, and include:
- Four or more offenses that are punishable by at least one year in prison,
- Misdemeanor 2 simple assault charges (M3 simple assault charges may be expunged),
- Crimes punishable by two or more years in prison,
- Sexual intercourse with an animal,
- Impersonating a public officer,
- Certain crimes involving intimidating a witness or retaliating against a witness,
- Certain crimes involving a child abuse conviction,
- Crimes that require sex offender registration under Megan’s Law.
Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers Help Newtown, PA Clients Understand Differences Between Expungement and Record Sealing
Under the expanded “expungement” law in Newtown, your criminal record is actually sealed rather than destroyed entirely. While this means that potential landlords, employers, bank lenders and others who search public records will be unable to find any evidence of your criminal past, your criminal history does remain available to law enforcement and the courts. If you are arrested and convicted of a future crime, the court will be able to use your prior criminal record to influence their recommendations in future sentencing.
True expungement—destruction of criminal records—is only available in the following limited circumstances under Pennsylvania law:
- You have reached age 70 and have been free from arrest or conviction for ten years following completion of your punishment,
- You have been dead for at least three years,
- Your charges were dismissed without conviction,
- The crime for which you were convicted was a summary offense and you have been free from conviction or arrest for five years following completion of your punishment,
- You completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program with respect to a crime that did not involve any type of sex crime where the victim was under the age of 18.
Call Our Skilled Newtown Expungement Lawyers Today to Take the First Step in Clearing Your Criminal Record
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., our skilled expungement lawyers realize the serious impact that a past criminal conviction can have on your current life and future prospects. We are here to help you evaluate whether you are eligible to have your Newtown criminal record expunged or sealed, and have the knowledge necessary to help you through the entire process of clearing your record so your criminal past can stop holding you back. Call or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case today.
About Newtown, PA
Newtown is located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, just west of Trenton and about 30 miles from Philadelphia. Newtown is known for its small town feel and has been ranked among the coolest small towns in America in 2011. Newtown was originally the Bucks County county seat and was historically the location of George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War prior to the Battle of Princeton. Today, Newtown’s downtown business district has a place on the National Register of Historic Places and is known for its unique shopping and restaurant selection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Expungements in Newtown
Only law enforcement, the courts, and certain state licensing boards will be able to access information about your criminal past after you have obtained a limited expungement. However, if the original conviction resulted in losing your right to own or carry a firearm, those rights are not restored following the limited expungement.
Not directly. To clear your record of a felony conviction, it is first necessary to obtain a pardon from the state. Depending upon the actual felony involved and the circumstances surrounding the crime, it may be possible to obtain a pardon if you have since maintained a clean record. In these circumstances, we would first petition for a pardon and then proceed to petition the courts to expunge your record once the pardon has been granted.