When a person makes mistakes, they may get caught up in the criminal justice system and be saddled with a criminal record that can follow them for the rest of their life. This can cause significant problems for the individual in the event that a prospective employer, credit agency, landlord, or government official conducts a background check. It is because of this that, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are ways to have criminal records sealed or expunged. Read on to learn more about expungements in Pennsylvania and contact an experienced Montgomery County expungement lawyer from Mudrick & Zucker for assistance.
The Montgomery County lawyers here at Mudrick & Zucker are dedicated to helping our clients unlock brighter futures through expungement. Speak with us today so we can help you pave the way for new opportunities and a fresh start.
First, you should understand that although Pennsylvania permits expungement under certain circumstances, not everyone is eligible to have their record expunged. The only people who may qualify for expungement in Pennsylvania are as follows:
To have your record expunged, you will need to go through a somewhat lengthy process; in general, expungement is a three to six-month process, which will depend on the county where you were charged and your criminal record was created. Each county has different requirements, for example, some require a criminal background check, and some don’t. Generally, your attorney will complete and file one of two types of expungement petitions for either a rule 490 or 790 expungement. The type of petition depends on whether your expungement is for a case that was at the Magisterial District Court level or the Court of Common Pleas level.
Along with the Petition, your attorney will prepare a proposed Expungement Order. Once the Petition and Order are filed with the Court it will be submitted to a Judge for signature or hearing. Once the Expungement Order has been signed by the Judge, the Clerk of Courts will hold it for thirty days and then notify the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to expunge your record. The clerk should also send notices to all law enforcement and record-keeping agencies that you requested be listed in the Order. Each agency then has thirty days to provide you with confirmation that they have complied with the Expungement Order.
When a person has their records sealed or expunged, they no longer are required to explain their past mistakes or have to worry about them being discovered by important parties. This can open up new opportunities for their future they might not have had otherwise, such as a job, loan or credit applications, renting a home, applying for a gun permit, and more.
Don’t go through the expungement process without a competent lawyer in your corner who can effectively guide you through it. There are some professional licensing boards that may still require disclosure of your past record and you should consult with one of our attorneys to determine if this may affect your expungement. Contact Mudrick & Zucker today so we can determine whether you should qualify, and, from there, help you get the clean slate you deserve.