Philadelphia Expungement Lawyer
A past arrest or conviction can haunt you long after it should have been left to the past. Ever since backgrounds checks became a routine part of the job hiring process, even an arrest for which you were not convicted can be damaging, as it will show up in a background check, and potentially give pause to a hiring party. Nor is it only the hiring process which suffers from a past arrest or conviction; checks may also affect your ability to secure a loan, or a mortgage on a home.
Fortunately, there is something you may be able to do about this. A criminal law attorney can, in certain circumstances, help you to have these police records deleted or sealed through a process called expungement. An expungement of your arrest or conviction will make it as if it never happened – at least in the eyes of an employer.
There are three steps involved in securing an expungement in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
- Your attorney will file a petition for expungement with the Court of Common Pleas in the appropriate county.
- You and your lawyer will attend a hearing in which your attorney will make your case for expungement before the court.
- If the judge finds in favor of permitting expungement, the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository for Criminal History Information will be contacted, and they will advise additional agencies accordingly. Your attorney will monitor the situation and take action as necessary to expedite and assist the process.
Is an Expungement a Realistic Option for You?
In many cases, an Expungement of a past arrest or conviction is a very serious possibility. The following scenarios are those in which an expungement is a likely remedy:
- You were charged with a misdemeanor or felony and were not convicted of the charges and did not plead guilty to the charges.
- You completed the terms of a suspended or conditional sentence, such as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).
- You have a summary offense conviction that is 5 or more years old, and have not been arrested since.
- You were convicted of underage drinking and are now 21 years of age or older, and have met all your obligations imposed on you at the time of your sentencing.
These are some common circumstances, but please do not make any decision on the basis of this list alone, as its purpose is only to use as a guide. Speaking with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who can analyze and research your specific situation is the only way to make a well informed decision.
If an expungement does turn out to be a realistic option, it is important that you purse it. The cost of an expungement is minimal when it is compared to the potential gain of being able to confidently pursue and achieve employment or securing a loan or mortgage.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
A lawyer with knowledge of the entirety of the process is essential to securing an expungement. The outline above is but a brief explanation of the process as a whole. By retaining an attorney you can ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.
Please contact us today to discuss your specific situation. The call is free, and so is the consultation.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.