How to Get Your Criminal Record Expunged in Pennsylvania: Step-by-Step

This blog post offers a general understanding of Pennsylvania’s record clearing process, including the criteria for eligibility, necessary paperwork, and expected timelines.

A criminal record can pose significant obstacles in the pursuit of job opportunities, suitable housing, and more. Fortunately, the process of criminal record expungement in Pennsylvania can provide a clean slate. This blog post will guide you step by step on how to get your criminal record expunged in Pennsylvania.

Step 1:

Determine Eligibility

Your journey to expungement or sealing begins by identifying if you’re eligible. In Pennsylvania, the eligibility requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Successful completion of all your sentence terms, including probation or parole
  • Absence of pending criminal charges or convictions
  • Specific duration after your sentence, depending on the nature of the offense

Step 2:

Obtain Necessary Documents Once you verify your eligibility, you’ll need to collect relevant documents to initiate the expungement or sealing process, such as:

  • Court-related documents from your case
  • Sentencing documents
  • Evidence of sentence completion, encompassing probation or parole

Step 3:

Prepare Your Petition Next, your expungement or sealing petition needs to be compiled. This document details your case and why your record warrants expungement or sealing.

Step 4:

File Your Petition Upon preparing your petition, it’s time to file it within the jurisdiction where your conviction occurred. You’ll also have to manage a filing fee, subject to variability based on county.

Step 5:

Attend the Hearing Post-filing, a hearing may be scheduled depending on the nature of the charge(s) to decide if your petition will be granted.

Step 6:

Wait for the Decision After the hearing, the court’s decision is pending. If your petition is approved, your criminal record will be cleared, eliminating the need to disclose your conviction in many, but not all, situations. Contact us to find out if you’re eligible and based on the charge and depending on the procedure available to you whether you can stop having to answer “yes” on job applications asking if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.

Criminal record expungement and sealing can seem daunting, but the outcome—a clean record and increased opportunities—is well worth the effort.

With the guidance of this step-by-step process

Navigating Pennsylvania’s expungement process is more manageable. It’s crucial to remember that requirements and timelines can vary, making consultation with an experienced attorney or conducting thorough research invaluable.