Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and is known for its wealth of art and rich culture. While Philadelphia has a great deal to offer its citizens, if you are being deprived of employment due to your criminal record, it may be difficult to afford the fruits of the city. If you were arrested without a conviction, or were convicted of a summary offense or received ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition), you may be eligible to expunge your Philadelphia criminal record. The expungement process is complex and time sensitive, which is why it is imperative that you understand how to expunge your Philadelphia criminal record prior to embarking upon the process.
The first step in expunging your criminal record in Philadelphia is determining your eligibility. There is a filing fee to petition for an expungement with the court, so it is advisable to make sure that you are eligible for an expungement prior to filing. You will file the petition for your expungement with the courthouse that has jurisdiction over where your original hearing occurred. You can contact the court clerk for specific information about your case. When you file your petition, you may need to know the name of the arresting agency, the disposition of your case, and the relevant dates of your case. The easiest way to determine whether or not you are eligible is to take a free expungement eligibility test. It is a quick and easy test that will help you know if you can move forward in the process of clearing your record.
I am eligible for Expungement. Now What do I do?
While you always have the option to file for the petition on your own, it is highly advisable to seek the representation of a licensed professional. Hiring an attorney is an investment in your case and in your future. The right expungement attorney will be well versed in Philadelphia’s expungement laws and as such will be able to confidently navigate you through the expungement process from beginning to end.
You hire an expungement attorney for the following reasons:
- Research your case and any relevant past offenses
- File the petition for your case
- Complete and submit all necessary documents properly and promptly
- Prepare all evidence and testimonies necessary to prove to the judge that you are rehabilitated and are worthy of an expungement
- Represent you in court in the event that the District Attorney objects to your case
- Help ensure that your expungement case is successful and handled as quickly as possible
If you cannot afford to have an attorney represent you, contact your local public defender to represent you for a relatively low cost or for free. You can find information about your Philadelphia public defender by viewing their website at http://www.philadefender.org/.
For general information on expunging your record in Pennsylvania, you can find more information at how to expunge a record in Pennsylvania.
Not all cases are eligible for expungement
; however, there is another option that may be beneficial. Seeking a pardon in the state where your conviction occurred may the best solution to receive criminal record relief.
In order to apply for a pardon, there are certain requirements that may need to be met and certain application procedures that must be completed. This information can be found in great detail at www.pardon411.com.
If you are applying for a pardon in Pennsylvania, below you will find the eligibility requirements and the process for applying.
To be eligible for a pardon in Pennsylavania you must:
- Determine if you are eligible for a Pennsylvania Pardon. Please visit RecordGone.com to take the free eligibility test
- Typically there are no minimum eligibility requirements
- You may apply if you are still in prison
To apply for a Pennsylvania pardon:
Provide the Board of Pardons an $8.00 money order, cashier’s check, law firm check, or institution check, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to obtain your Pardon Application at:
- The Board of Pardons
333 Market Street
Harrisburg, PA 17126
The Board will not accept personal checks
Obtain a copy of your Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record by:
- Calling the Pennsylvania State Police, Central Repository at 717-783-9973
- Making an online request at http://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jsp
- Prepare personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- Submit completed Pardon Application to the Board of Pardons
As a young adult, mistakes can occur. These mistakes can follow you into your adulthood as you apply for employment and higher levels of education.
With 80% of employers conducting background checks and 66% of universities inquiring about convictions, according to the Center for Community Alternatives, sealing your juvenile record can increase the likelihood of achieving your goals as an adult.
The first step to determining if your case is eligible for a juvenile record sealing begins by reviewing if your case meets the necessary requirements.
Depending on the state your case occurred in, requirements can vary, although across most states a juvenile record sealing requires that you:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must not have pending charges
- Must have paid all fines and restitution
- Must have completed all terms and conditions of court ordered probation
To evaluate if your juvenile record is eligible for a sealing, visit RecordGone.com to complete the free eligibility test or call today for your free over-the-phone consultation at 877-573-7273.
On February 12, 2013, Senate Bill 391 was introduced by State Senator Tim Solobay and, if passed, will allow for more leniency in expungement law. The current Pennsylvania law stated that crimes other than summary offenses cannot be expunged until the offender turned 70 years old or has been deceased for more than three years. The new Bill would allow individuals who have misdemeanors of the 2nd and 3rd degree to apply to have their criminal records if they have not reoffended in ten years for 2nd degree misdemeanors, and seven years for 3rd degree misdemeanors.
Senator Tim Solobay is adamant about getting this Bill to pass after similar legislation, Senate Bill 1220, did not make it to a floor vote. Senator Solobay announced that the major intent of this Bill is to offer more opportunities for former offenders to find jobs. He believes that his will prevent those with a criminal history from reoffending. Those who are eligible for expungement can remove the stigma that follows a criminal judgment, which will allow them to continue living their life in a positive manner.
This bill does not apply to offenses punishable by more than one year in prison or pertaining to certain forms of assault, sex offense, cruelty to animals, firearms offenses, and certain other crimes. Expungement will be granted solely at the discretion of the court.