Eligibility for Expunging Adult Criminal Records in Pennsylvania
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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021
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When a criminal record is expunged in Pennsylvania, all information directly related to the criminal offense is removed from public view. This information includes: identifying descriptions of you, arrest information and accompanying notes, indictments, dispositions, and data on any formal criminal charges related to the offense. Not included in expungement: medical and psychological information is, nor any national intelligence data (e.g., CIA) information. Note: original entries prepared or maintained by the court are not eligible for expungement. No court records, documents, or even indices are eligible for expungement if they were created by or filed in any court in Pennsylvania.
You are eligible for expungement in Pennsylvania if you were convicted of a crime AND any of the following are true:
- You are 70 years old or older, and have had no arrests or prosecutions for 10 years after the date you were released from supervision or prison,
- A summary offense, and free of arrest or convictions for 5 years following the date of your conviction,
- No disposition was ever received, or recorded in the repository within 18 months after the date of the arrest. For eligibility under this rule, the court with proper jurisdiction in your case must certify to the director of the repository that no disposition is available, and there are no pending actions against you.
- A court order requires expungement.
- You are at least 21 years old and have been convicted of a violation of Section 6308, which (relating to illegal purchase/transport of alcohol). If you have satisfied all terms and conditions of your sentencing, then the court will order the expungement all the criminal history record information, along with any information held at the Department of Transportation.
- If deceased, the record may be expunged three years after the date of death.
In addition, for those individuals placed in certain types of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition programs (ARD), expungement may be automatic under PA Rule 320. ARD programs are commonly used in cases of DUI charges to allow for faster sentencing and rehabilitation; such programs allow an individual to have his record automatically expunged upon successfully completing the program. However, not all ARD programs result in automatic expungement. For example, no one is eligible for expungement who was placed in an ARD program related to certain crimes where the victim was under the age of 18. Offenses for which expungement is unavailable include:
- Statutory sexual assault
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Indecent assault
- Indecent exposure
- Prostitution or related offenses
- Obscene and other sexual materials and performances.
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