How do I expunge my record?

I was arrested for retail theft. It was my first conviction and I was ordered ARD, I had to complete 32 hours of community service and pay fines and complete 1 year probation. I completed all of those things. I remember the people at the ARD class said we could issue a motion to have this expunged from our records but I cannot recall what that was.

Asked on May 31, 2017 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

PA allows for those who have received and completed ARD (Accelerated  Rehabilitative Disposition), conviction of certain alcohol offenses to have the record of the offense expunged. Expungement will remove all records of the offense so there is no trace or indication that the record ever existed. My research suggests that when the judge orders the dismissal of the charges, they should also order the expungement of the arrest record (unless the Commonwealth presents compelling reasons why the arrest record should be retained). If your arrest was not expunged, you can contact a local attorney for help. If you want to do this yourself, here is a link to a site that provides the forms that you will need for clearing your criminal history record yourself; it is for Lancaster County but the information is generally the same throughout the state:

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