Does completion of ARD for my criminal case automatically result in the expungement of the charges from my record?

State College Expungement Lawyer

Successful completion of ARD gives a person charged with criminal charges the ability to have charges dismissed and expunged. Many people make the mistake of believing that the court or probation department will complete the dismissal and expungement process for them. Centre County, like most counties in Pennsylvania, does not complete the expungement process for a criminal defendant. Instead, the person must file a Motion to Dismiss, and, upon having the criminal charges dismissed, a Petition to Expunge must be filed to have the dismissed criminal charges expunged. If the appropriate paperwork is not filed, then, not only will the criminal charges remain on the person's record, but the record will also reflect that the charges remain pending. If employers see that charges are pending, they often fear that the person could be convicted of the criminal charges and thereby facing the penalties stemming from a conviction, which may include jail time or supervision by the probation and parole department.

The primary goal in completing ARD is to have the criminal charges dismissed and then expunged, so the failure to finalize the expungement process negates the purpose in completing ARD. Many people try to avoid retaining a criminal defense lawyer for an ARD case because they often think that the court or probation department will tell them how to do everything. While an ARD disposition is not a difficult case for an experienced criminal defense attorney, it is a new and unknown process for most people unfamiliar with the criminal system. The old adage that ignorance of the law is not an excuse is applicable here. If the expungement process is not handled correctly, the error is generally only discovered AFTER the charge appears on a criminal background search, at which point it is too late to keep the record of the criminal case from being discovered by a prospective employer. It is easier and generally more cost effective to hire an attorney to handle a criminal case properly at the beginning instead of hiring one to try and rectify a problem after the fact. State College criminal lawyer Jason S. Dunkle had represented thousands of people charged with criminal offense in counties across Pennsylvania, including Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties.

Free Initial Consultation

Contact our Central Pennsylvania law firm today for a free consultation about an expungement or ARD at 814-954-1094 or by email.