Skilled Pennsylvania Expungement Lawyers Help Clients Get a Fresh Start
Anyone who has ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime understands that the repercussions continue to follow you well after your punishment has been served—and, in the case of arrest without conviction, even if it was determined that you never committed the crime in the first place. While the state of Pennsylvania has enacted laws to ensure that your criminal past should not be a deterrent in your ability to sustain a successful future, expungement is rarely automatic and is often complicated by any number of factors. Because of this, it is critical that you retain a skilled criminal defense lawyer to ensure the greatest possibility of success in obtaining an expungement in Norristown.
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At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C., we believe in second chances and realize that one mistake in your past can haunt your future indefinitely. We are committed to helping clients understand the rules governing expungements and how an expungement can provide a clean slate so that you can move on with your life without the weight of a past criminal conviction. Our experienced expungement lawyers are here to help you understand how the new legal system governing expungements in Pennsylvania can impact your case. If you would like to explore the possibility of obtaining an expungement, call or contact our offices today.
New Pennsylvania Law Expands Availability of Expungements in Some Cases
Under the new Pennsylvania limited expungement law, certain cases are now eligible for expungement in the form of limited expungement, or record sealing, including:
- Cases that do not result in conviction,
- Successful completion of the accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program, as long as the offense did not involve a sex crime,
- Misdemeanor convictions punishable by less than two years in prison after ten years have passed without subsequent conviction,
- Summary offenses.
General Process for Obtaining an Expungement
The process for obtaining an expungement can be complicated by any number of factors, but the general expungement process proceeds as follows if the expungement is not automatic:
- A motion for expungement is filed in the relevant court, which is generally in the county where the charges and/or conviction was brought,
- The relevant filing fee is paid along with the motion,
- A judge will hear testimony related to the motion for expungement and sign an order permitting expungement if he or she deems it appropriate in your case,
- The motion is returned to the clerk of courts, where it is then distributed to the relevant law enforcement agencies (those that have your record),
- The records are appropriately sealed or destroyed, so that you no longer have to disclose your criminal history when applying for jobs, housing, or even forms of government assistance.
Get Advice From An Experienced Norristown, PA Expungement Lawyer. All You Have To Do Is Call 215-822-7575 To Receive Your Free Case Evaluation.
Knowledgeable Defense Lawyers Help Clients Understand the Expanded Availability of Expungements Under PA Law
Prior to 2016, the rules governing expungement in Pennsylvania were extremely limited. The law now permits expungement of many second-degree and third-degree misdemeanor crimes and more minor summary offenses, including certain substance-related offenses. The expanded expungement law applies to most non-violent offenses after ten years have passed without the individual obtaining another conviction.
In some cases, first degree misdemeanors may even be eligible if the crime was punishable by less than five years in prison. Examples of criminal convictions that are excluded from the expanded law, and thus ineligible for expungement in Norristown, include cases involving:
- Sexual misconduct,
- Any crime involving violations of Megan’s Law registration requirements,
- Corruption of minors,
- Cruelty to animals,
- Convictions for two or more offenses punishable by more than two years in prison,
- Convictions for four or more offenses punishable by more than one year in prison,
- Felony convictions.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with a Reputable Lawyer for Help in Your Expungement
If you are interested in exploring the opportunity for obtaining an expungement in Norristown under the expanded Pennsylvania statute, call or contact our offices today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our experienced Norristown expungement lawyers can help you evaluate whether you are eligible for an expungement, prepare the relevant documentation and advocate on your behalf every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Expungements
Both the new limited expungement law and the old expungement law remain valid law in Pennsylvania. Under the “old” law, the availability of expungement in Pennsylvania was extremely limited. The new limited expungement law creates an additional class of circumstances under which expungement is possible. The primary difference between the new law, which became effective in October 2016, and the old law is the way your criminal records are treated. If you qualify for expungement under the old law, your entire record is destroyed. Under the new law, it is sealed so that it can only be accessed by the relevant law enforcement authorities. When it comes to professional licensing committees, if your case is handled under the new law, the licensing authority itself will determine whether it will accept the expungement.
Yes. The judge is permitted to deny the motion for expungement if the judge deems the denial appropriate based upon all of the facts of your case. Further, the prosecution is permitted to present evidence and argue that your expungement should not be granted, making the advice of a skilled expungement attorney particularly important.