State College Expungement Attorney
What Is an Expungement?
In Pennsylvania, the term “expunge” means “to remove information so that there is no trace or indication that such information existed.” Basically, an expungement is the destruction of government records so that no one has access to such records. Not only would expunged records not be publicly accessible, meaning such records would not appear on background searches for employment, but prosecutors and judges would also not be able to see such records. If records cannot be seen by prosecutors, then they would not be considered by prosecutors when determining how to resolve future criminal charges. There is a difference between expunged and sealed records in Pennsylvania.
Limitations on Expungements
It must be emphasized that an expungement has limitations. If a private party or company has a record of the incident, such private entities cannot be forced to expunge records. For example, newspaper articles or online reports of incidents do not fall under the expungement laws. There are also private companies that are purchasing government records and maintaining such records in a private database. Many employers hire background search companies that purchase records from the private database, so there are situations in which an expunged record may still appear on a background search report. Experienced expungement attorneys like those at JD Law are aware of such private databases, and many will expunge their records IF they are served with a copy of the expungment order that is signed by the judge.
While the basic expungement process is set forth in Pennsylvania law and the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, meaning that many portions of the expungement process are universal across the state, many counties have unique requirements and quirks. Some counties have special forms. Some require extra documentation to be attached to the petition. Some require the petitioner to contact the district attorney prior to filing th expungement petition. Some counties automatically schedule hearings on every expungement petition filed. Because almost every county handles expungement petitions differently, it is important to consult with and ultimately retain an attorney who has experience with filing expungements in the particular county in which your charges were filed. JD Law generally only files expungement petitions in Centre County. If you need an expungement for a different county, contact our office for a referral for an experienced expungement attorney. Call JD Law at (814) 954-7622 or email us for a free initial consultation.