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In Pennsylvania, the record of your arrest stays on your permanent criminal record indefinitely. The only way to remove this from your criminal record is to have it expunged. Pennsylvania allows expungements of criminal records under a limited set of circumstances. If your record is expunged, the court orders complete removal of all records of the offense. This proves most beneficial for those who are having difficulty obtaining a job as many employers take advantage of the simple process of obtaining one’s Pennsylvania criminal history.

18 Pa.Cons.Stat. § 9122 governs Pennsylvania expungements. Pursuant to the statute, a person’s criminal history may be expunged when an individual who is the subject of the information reaches 70 years of age and has been free of arrest or prosecution for ten years following final release from confinement or supervision; or where the individual who is the subject of the information has been dead for three years. However, if your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty, the above guidelines do not apply and, depending on the nature of the crime(s) involved, you may have a good case for expungement.

Juvenile Records
In the case of juvenile records, a person may seek expungement when

  1. the complaint or petition resulting from a complaint is dismissed;
  2. six months have elapsed since the final discharge of the person from supervision under a consent decree and no proceeding is pending;
  3. five years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person from commitment, placement, probation or any other disposition and referral and since discharge, and the person has not been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or adjudicated delinquent and no proceeding is pending;
  4. the person is 18 or older and court determines expungement is in the best interests of justice.

Expungements & Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD)

If you have successfully completed ARD, the judge will issue an order to dismiss your case as well as the expungement of the defendant’s arrest record.

A person is not eligible for expungement if placed in an ARD program and victim was under the age of 18 for any of the following offenses:

  1. Section 3121 (relating to rape)
  2. Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).
  3. Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).
  4. Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
  5. Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).
  6. Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).
  7. Section 5902(b) (relating to prostitution and related offenses).
  8. Section 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

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