I am trying to get criminal charges expunged in PA. (Phila). Charge date of 8/19/1988.

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I am trying to get criminal charges expunged in PA. (Phila). Charge date of 8/19/1988.

Charges are Agg. assualt (withdrawn) Simple assualt (susp. sent.) PIC (conv. 2 yrs probation) Threats (conv. 4 yrs. probation) REAP (conv. 2 yrs. probation) Unlaw Restraint (conv. 2 yrs. probation)Since then (over 20 years) I have had NO arrests for any reason. I work as an investment advisor now and FINRA has the arrest listed on my “broker check” report. I am trying to get the record expunged but I don’t know how. Please advise.

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I don't think the expungement is going to be an option for you here.  Generally speaking convictions are not able to be expunged in PA.

With two exceptions, only non-conviction data can be expunged.  Non-conviction data includes:

1. Arrest records that show no disposition took place after 18 months and the court of the proper jurisdiction certifies that no action is pending.

2. Cases that were dismissed or discharged because of lack of evidence or lack of prosecution or because there was no finding of guilt after trial.

3. Cases that were dismissed or discharged because the offender successfully complied with the terms and conditions of certain pretrial dispositions such as the ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program.

Conviction data may be expunged where the offender is 70 years old and has been free of arrest for at least ten years following his or her final release from supervision. It may also be expunged where the offender had been deceased for at least three years.

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.

Your best bet is to speak with an attorney licensed in your state and see if they know of any other options to help you out with your employment situation.

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