How can I get my record of 20 years ago to be sealed or expunged for free?

Asked on July 23, 2010 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to say that it will never be completely free.  There are filing fees associated with these matters.  If you qualify for indigent status the fees may be waived. To keep the cost as low as possible you can do it yourself.  Each state has a set of laws that deal with expungement or sealing of records (NY does not recognize expungement).  Each state decides for themselves what offenses can be sealed or expunged and it can differ drastically from state to state.  You will need to review your state law as to the matter.  You will need to get a copy of your disposition and then you will have to file a petition to be heard before a Judge.  The Judge will hear your application for expungement and make sure that it complies with the law. Judges generally have broad discretion on the granting of the petition. If it is granted I would suggest that you do a background check on yourself sometime after to make sure that the records were erased. Good luck.

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