In Pennsylvania, there are a few ways in which a person can be convicted of a crime. An offender can be convicted of a crime by deciding to plea guilty or nolo contendere. In pleading guilty, the defendant accepts responsibility for the offense that he or she was accused of committing. In pleading nolo contendere, no contest, the defendant neither accepts nor denies guilt for the crime for which he or she is accused. Such a plea allows the judge to determine the defendant’s guilt and consequent conviction. If the defendant wishes to fight the charges for which he or she has been accused, then a judge or jury will determine the verdict of their case. If the defendant is found guilty, then the presiding judge will determine his or her conviction and sentencing.
Once the defendant is convicted for his or her adult Pennsylvania offense, he or she will either be convicted of a summary offense or an adult conviction. If the offense was not a summary offense and the defendant did not receive ARD as part of their sentencing, then the accused must wait until he or she turns 70 years of age and cannot have been arrested or persecuted for a crime for the ten years following the release from confinement or supervision, or the defendant must have been dead for three years to be considered for eligibility for an expungement.
By expunging your Pennsylvania conviction, you are removing any occurrence of an arrest or conviction from your criminal record. As such, you can legally say that you were not convicted of a crime. Expunging your conviction may help you to pass most background checks for employment and housing, which may help you to find a quality job. To begin searching for jobs in your area, visit tips for ex-felons searching for jobs. It is from a nevada based expungement site, but the tips can be applied in any state.
If you have had trouble in the past trying to get your record cleared, these new Pennsylvania law changes could mean that you are now eligible to get your record expunged.