If you have a criminal history that you want to have expunged, you should know that it may be possible to do so in Pennsylvania. In fact, the Pennsylvania State Police have the process laid out easily for you on their website, including that you should fill out form SP 4-170, pay $20 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and receive your full arrest record to take it to your local Clerk of Courts.
This seemingly simple process may not be as straightforward as it appears, though. The Clerk of Courts in the country where an arrest took place will need to be involved, and you may find that its requirements for expungement are a bit more complex.
What happens once you file your fees and request with the court?
After you file your paperwork with the Clerk of Courts, you’ll have a hearing scheduled before a common pleas judge. That judge will hear your testimony and determine if an expungement is the right option for your case.
If you are awarded an expungement, then all information from your arrest record and criminal record that qualifies will be removed. It will no longer be able to be seen by potential employers, and you won’t have to disclose it.
Can anyone ask for an expungement?
Not everyone will be able to get an expungement. Only certain kinds of records can be expunged, such as those that resulted in “not guilty” or “withdrawn” non-conviction data, underage drinking convictions and certain summary offenses that occurred at least five years ago.
Since not every kind of criminal record can be expunged, it’s a good idea to know if you qualify before spending the time and money on trying to get the records cleaned. If you don’t qualify for expungement, there may be other options open to you, because Pennsylvania passed the Clean Slate bill to help expand people’s options when it comes to sealing records.
Ordering more information about your exact records is your first step, but then, you may want to look into seeking help to put together a strong case for expungement. You will need to have the right legal documents to present if you decide to go to court.