Do I Need to Report Expunged Charges on an ARD Application
Many Pennsylvania ARD applications contain a question that requires applicants to report prior charges even if those charges have been expunged or sealed. Obviously, if an applicant reports prior offenses or prior charges, the distirct attorney is more likely to deny ARD, so many people want to lie. The problem is that most ARD Applications require the person to sign and swear that all of the information is true, and providing false information could result in a criminal charge of Unsworn Falsification to Law Enforcement under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 4904 to be filed. So lying on the Application to get a good resolution may actually result in additional charges being filed.
Reporting Expunged Offenses on an ARD Application
Whether or not expunged or sealed records need to be included on an ARD Application is a very tricky issue that requires a very precise reading of expungement laws. A quick review of cases:
- Commonwealth v. Fleming, 955 A.2d 450 (Pa. Super. 2008) – Maryland expungement law prohibited consideration of the expunged case – Pennsylvania Court ruled that defendant was not required to report prior felony drug conviction from the state of Maryland on his ARD Application for a Pennsylvania DUI
- Commonwealth v. Jagodzinski, 739 A.2d 173 (Pa. Super. 1999) – Ohio expungement law allowed the expunged record to be considered for admission into pretrial diversion programs like ARD, so the defendant was required to report the prior Ohio offense on the ARD Application
- Commonwealth v. Belville, 711 A.2d 510 (Pa. Super. 1998) – Pennsylvania expungement law did not allow a person to forgo reporting of a prior ARD for a DUI offense on an ARD Application
- Commonwealth v. Benn, 675 A.2d 261 (Pa. 1996) – the Pennsylvania expungement law under the Drug Code did not allow a prosecutor to consider the expunged case, so the defendant was not required to report the prior expunged charge on the ARD Application
What the cases above show is that cases require a review of expungement laws to determine whether or not prior expunged cases must be reported on ARD Applications. Every state has different expungement laws, and each state may even have different expungement laws for different types of cases, so every case must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. The best way to proceed is to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance. At JD Law, we offer a free initial consultation. To have your case reviewed by our defense lawyers, contact us at 814-689-9139 or via email.