If I am required to report that I was charged with a criminal offense even if the charge was later expunged, then why should I bother having the matter expunged?
Pennsylvania Criminal Charge Expungement Lawyer
A person should seek expungement of dismissed charges as soon as such a person is eligible to have them expunged. The sooner that the charges are expunged, the less likely it is that the government records will be obtained by private background search companies, so the less likely it is that the charges will appear on criminal background searches.
If a person charged with a criminal offense was able to avoid a conviction and have the charges dismissed, the person would often not need to self-report on an employment application as such applications generally only inquire about convictions and guilty pleas. If a person was asked about convictions, and a charge had been dismissed, then a person would NOT need to reference the charge. In such a scenario, it would be beneficial to hopefully not have the employer find any evidence that the applicant was even charged. If a timely expungement was filed shortly after the dismissal of the charge, there is a high likelihood that the Internet background search companies would not have obtained a copy of the court record, so there is a high likelihood that the prospective employer would not receive any information about the charge.
As discussed above, while an expungement does not change the fact that a person was charged, some newer applications allow a person to forgo reporting if the charge was expunged or sealed by court order. Therefore, there are times that the applications expressly allow a person to forgo self-reporting because of the expungement. If a person is filling out an application and the matter has not yet been expunged, then it is simply too late.
Expungement of the charge definitely cannot hurt a person seeking employment, and it is also clear that an expungement may actually be very beneficial. Many attorneys overlook the expungement process and do not explain the process or benefits to clients. State College defense attorney Jason S. Dunkle has filed hundreds of expungement petitions in Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties.