Call For a Free Consultation About Expunging Your Record in PA:

Jenee Oliver 412.434.4911 ext. 35

Frequently Asked Questions:

First, how do I know if there are charges are on my record?

You may do a criminal background check on yourself by going onto the Pennsylvania State Police web site and ordering a copy of your own record for a mere ten (10) dollars. To get more information, click on:

http://www.psp.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/psp/4451

You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the crime, possible punishment, and all your options.

Can a conviction be cleaned or expunged from my record?

The answer is maybe. Previous to recent legislation, convictions for crimes were barred from expungement. With the addition of section 9122.1 certain degrees of misdemeanor offenses are able to be expunged after 10 years pass without conviction and all fees associated with the crime are paid in full.

My lawyer filed a Petition to Expunge My Record, Do I have to attend a hearing on the Petition?

The answer is also maybe.

Technically, the district attorney has discretion to challenge your petition to expunge your criminal record. In the vast majority of cases, no challenge will be presented. However, in certain kinds of cases (such as sexual assault), the DA may actually challenge the petition. If, in your case, the DA decides to challenge the petition, there is no extra costs to you in terms of legal fees. Our firm handles these cases on a flat fee basis.

Do I need a lawyer?

Your petition to expunge your record is a formal document verified by you under penalty of perjury and we recommend that you have an attorney complete the paperwork for you. Also, in the event that your case gets scheduled for a hearing, your lawyer will help ensure that there are no problems in court. Give our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania expungement lawyers a call today. You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain the process and all your options.

How does the Allegheny County Courts describe the expungment process?

Here is how the Allegheny County Court describes the process to get a record expunged in Allegheny County:

What is an expungement?

According to Pennsylvania Law, 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122, under limited circumstances individuals may obtain permission to remove criminal records from the files of the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, and other criminal justice agencies. Recently, legislators have added section 9122.1 which allows certain misdemeanor offenses to be expunged after 10 years.

Why should a record be expunged?

There are many reasons why a person may want to expunge criminal records. For example, a background check such as an Act 33/34 clearance will produce details of criminal cases that might affect future employment opportunities, the ability to be bonded or to obtain a gun permit. All criminal cases remain a matter of public record until a motion for expungement has been filed in the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, and is granted by an order of court from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

What records are expungeable?

Prior to Act 134 of 2008, only non-convictions could be expunged, regardless of severity of the offense or the punishment. Non-convictions include verdict of not guilty; dismissal; withdrawal of charges, or nolle prosequi; Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition; or Probation Without Verdict pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act.

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), Probation Without Verdict and Allegheny Service Institute (ASI) programs offer expungement as part of the plea bargain package. For ARD and Probation Without Verdict (PWV), an expungement for a first time offender is filed automatically by the Allegheny County Department of Adult Probation when all fines and costs have been paid and the defendant successfully completes all of the terms and conditions of the program. For ASI, the individual who completes the program must file a motion with the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division and pay the filing fee. NOTE: A Motion to Expunge was not filed automatically by the Department of Adult Probation for ARD participants prior to 1990. Therefore, a defendant who completed ARD prior to 1990 must file a motion to expunge.

The passage of Act 134 now allows for the expungement of a conviction for a Summary offense provided the defendant has been free of arrest or prosecution for five (5) years following the conviction for that offense. Prior to submitting your petition for expungement for a Summary offense, the following documents must be obtained:

1. A current certified record indicating that the petitioner has not had any arrests, charges or convictions for a minimum of five (5) years since the conviction of the Summary offense for which the expungement is requested. This record check is performed by the Pennsylvania State Police. For further information on obtaining this information, please reference their website: How to Obtain a Criminal History Record

2. A certified record indicating that the petitioner has fully paid all fines, costs and restitution for all convictions of record.

For any criminal charge other than a Summary offense that resulted in a conviction, such as a guilty plea, verdict of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere, an expungement may only be granted by the court if the defendant first receives a pardon from the Governor of Pennsylvania.

How to begin the expungement?

Call or visit the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division to receive the standard forms necessary to file a petition. The motion must be legibly written or typed and must include the following information:

1. Cover Sheet: Name, address, phone number, Offense Tracking Number and/or Criminal Complaint Number.

2. Motion: A brief statement explaining the reasons for seeking an expungement.

3. Certified Copy of Disposition: A copy of the document or documents recording the official outcome of the case. Copies of summary cases are obtained from the office of the Magisterial District Judge that disposed of the case. The Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, Room 220 Allegheny County Courthouse, maintains the files for cases disposed by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division. Our office charges a fee of ten (10) dollars per case for certified copies. Copies may be obtained either in person or via mail. If you wish to obtain your certified copies by mail, please send a $10 money order to the following address along with your case number:

Allegheny County Department of Court Records, Criminal Division
220 Courthouse
436 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Attn: Records

4. Proposed Expungement Order: The proposed directive from the Court to expunge records.

5. Verification/Affidavit: A statement attesting that all of the provided information is true and correct.

Filing a Motion of Expungement

1. File with the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, the original and three (3) copies of the Motion for Expungement with the certified copies of court records attached as an exhibit to the motion. The motion must be accompanied by a filing fee of $232.00, payable by cash, certified check, or money order made payable to the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division.

2. The original and two (2) copies will be kept by the Department of Court Records. The third copy will be returned to the filer as a personal record.

How can I determine whether a criminal record exists or has been expunged?

An individual may contact the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, to obtain a certified copy of his or her expungement order. After the judge grants an expungement, the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, eliminates all non-conviction data from its physical case files and electronic database and notifies the appropriate criminal justice agencies, such as Adult Probation, Behavior Clinic, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, District Attorney, Magisterial District Judge, the Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Jail, Arresting Agency, and Sheriff. Other agencies may not complete expungement of records for as much as one (1) year after the date of the expungement order.

You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the crime, possible punishment, and all your options.

How does the Allegheny County Courts describe the expungment process?

Here is how the Allegheny County Court describes the process to get a record expunged in Allegheny County:

What is an expungement?
According to Pennsylvania Law, 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122, under limited circumstances individuals may obtain permission to remove criminal records from the files of the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, and other criminal justice agencies. For further information, please call 412-350-3271

Why should a record be expunged?
There are many reasons why a person may want to expunge criminal records. For example, a background check such as an Act 33/34 clearance will produce details of criminal cases that might affect future employment opportunities, the ability to be bonded or to obtain a gun permit. All criminal cases remain a matter of public record until a motion for expungement has been filed in the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, and is granted by an order of court from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

What records are expungeable?

Prior to Act 134 of 2008, only non-convictions could be expunged, regardless of severity of the offense or the punishment. Non-convictions include verdict of not guilty; dismissal; withdrawal of charges, or nolle prosequi; Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition; or Probation Without Verdict pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act.

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), Probation Without Verdict and Allegheny Service Institute (ASI) programs offer expungement as part of the plea bargain package. For ARD and Probation Without Verdict (PWV), an expungement for a first time offender is filed automatically by the Allegheny County Department of Adult Probation when all fines and costs have been paid and the defendant successfully completes all of the terms and conditions of the program. For ASI, the individual who completes the program must file a motion with the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division and pay the filing fee. NOTE: A Motion to Expunge was not filed automatically by the Department of Adult Probation for ARD participants prior to 1990. Therefore, a defendant who completed ARD prior to 1990 must file a motion to expunge.

The passage of Act 134 now allows for the expungement of a conviction for a Summary offense provided the defendant has been free of arrest or prosecution for five (5) years following the conviction for that offense. Prior to submitting your petition for expungement for a Summary offense, the following documents must be obtained:

1. A current certified record indicating that the petitioner has not had any arrests, charges or convictions for a minimum of five (5) years since the conviction of the Summary offense for which the expungement is requested. This record check is performed by the Pennsylvania State Police. For further information on obtaining this information, please reference their website: How to Obtain a Criminal History Record

2. A certified record indicating that the petitioner has fully paid all fines, costs and restitution for all convictions of record.

For any criminal charge other than a Summary offense that resulted in a conviction, such as a guilty plea, verdict of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere, an expungement may only be granted by the court if the defendant first receives a pardon from the Governor of Pennsylvania.

How to begin the expungement?

Call or visit the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division to receive the standard forms necessary to file a petition. The motion must be legibly written or typed and must include the following information:

1. Cover Sheet: Name, address, phone number, Offense Tracking Number and/or Criminal Complaint Number.

2. Motion: A brief statement explaining the reasons for seeking an expungement.

3. Certified Copy of Disposition: A copy of the document or documents recording the official outcome of the case. Copies of summary cases are obtained from the office of the Magisterial District Judge that disposed of the case. The Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, Room 220 Allegheny County Courthouse, maintains the files for cases disposed by the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division. Our office charges a fee of ten (10) dollars per case for certified copies. Copies may be obtained either in person or via mail. If you wish to obtain your certified copies by mail, please send a $10 money order to the following address along with your case number:

Allegheny County Department of Court Records, Criminal Division
220 Courthouse
436 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Attn: Records

4. Proposed Expungement Order: The proposed directive from the Court to expunge records.

5. Verification/Affidavit: A statement attesting that all of the provided information is true and correct.

Filing a Motion of Expungement
1. File with the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, the original and three (3) copies of the Motion for Expungement with the certified copies of court records attached as an exhibit to the motion. The motion must be accompanied by a filing fee of $232.00, payable by cash, certified check, or money order made payable to the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division.

2. The original and two (2) copies will be kept by the Department of Court Records. The third copy will be returned to the filer as a personal record.

How can I determine whether a criminal record exists or has been expunged?

An individual may contact the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, to obtain a certified copy of his or her expungement order. After the judge grants an expungement, the Department of Court Records, Criminal Division, eliminates all non-conviction data from its physical case files and electronic database and notifies the appropriate criminal justice agencies, such as Adult Probation, Behavior Clinic, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, District Attorney, Magisterial District Judge, the Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Jail, Arresting Agency, and Sheriff. Other agencies may not complete expungement of records for as much as one (1) year after the date of the expungement order.

You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the crime, possible punishment, and all your options.

I received ARD; what happens to the charges?

The charges remain on your record until the charges are expunged. You will want to have a lawyer check to docket to see what has happened. Also, you may do a criminal background check on yourself by going onto the Pennsylvania State Police web site and ordering a copy of your own record for a mere ten (10) dollars. For more information, go to:

http://www.psp.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/psp/4451

You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain the process to clean your record and all your options.

Will charges ever be automatically removed from my record?

In Allegheny County, once you complete ARD for drunk driving or DUI charges, then the county will file a petition on your behalf. However, this only applies to ARD and drunk driving (DUI) cases. In all other instances, you need to file the petition yourself.

You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice to fully learn your rights in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties. We will explain to you the charge and possible removal of it from your record.

 

Call For a Free Consultation:

Jenee Oliver

412.434.4911, Ext 35