Expungement in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, expungement is defined as the removal of information while leaving no trace or evidence of the information. This is typically applied to criminal and arrest records. Some records may be kept for future probation or diversion programs, or for identification purposes in a criminal investigation. Criminal records, as well as the following information, can be expunged in Pennsylvania. The dates of the arrests, notations from the arrests, any descriptions, indictments, formal information and charges, and dispositions are all included in this information.
Intelligence, treatment, and investigative information, including psychological evaluations and medical information, cannot be removed from a record. Press releases and police blotters that report criminal information, as well as indexes and documents prepared by the court, are not expungable. Any public identifying information, including wanted ads, posters, executive clemency announcements, and fugitive announcements, cannot be removed.
Eligibility for Pennsylvania Expungement
Arrest records under Rule 320 are expungable upon case dismissal. Individuals eligible for expungement include those over the age of seventy who have been free from prosecution or arrest for ten years or more since his or her supervision or confinement release; those who are the information subject of a summary offense and have been free from conviction or arrest for five years or more; and those who have not received a disposition or have not h The court can only order an expungement after receiving certification and authorization from the repository director. In these cases, the court may order that non-conviction information be expunged and that those over the age of twenty-one with convictions under Section 6308 be expunged. The consumption, purchase, possession, or transportation of brewed beverages, liquor, or malt is prohibited under Pennsylvania law under Section 6308.
After reviewing a petition, the court has the authority to expunge a criminal history record, as well as all information and records related to the conviction. Cases involving statutory sexual assault, rape, involuntary deviated sexual contact, indecent assault, indecent exposure, aggravated indecent assault, prostitution, sexual materials, sexual performances, and sexual assault, as well as any individual on an ARD program for a victim under the age of eighteen, are not eligible for expungement.
The Expungement Procedure
Individuals seeking expungement must file a petition with the court in which they were convicted. Records under Rule 320, as well as those who have completed all ADR requirements, may be automatically expunged. If the charges are dismissed, the judge may order that the individual’s records be expunged while the case is being heard. If a Commonwealth attorney objects to the judge’s decision, the judge will file the objection with the dismissal record within thirty days. The individual and his or her attorney will be served with copies of the dismissed charges and the objection. The judge will hold a hearing after the objection has been successfully filed.