Expunging your record FAQ

My Summary Offense Was Dismissed By the District Judge, Will This Show Up On My Criminal Record?

Yes, most of the time. If you were fingerprinted by police at the time of your arrest, the summary charge will show up on a Pennsylvania State Police criminal background check and an FBI background check.

If you were issued a summary citation, the summary charge will not show up on a Pennsylvania State Police background check or an FBI background check, however, the charge can be accessed by anyone with a computer and internet connection. Summary charges are available to anyone via Pennsylvania's Unified Judicial System Webportal. Private companies are often hired to search the portal for individual criminal histories to report to prospective employers. It is important to have your summary charge removed from the webportal.


What Are the Benefits of Having Your Criminal Record Expunged?

  1. Pass Criminal Background Checks when Applying for Jobs
  2. Become Eligible for Professional Licensures and Certificates
  3. Not have the Stigma of a Criminal Offense on Your Record
  4. Become Eligible for Student Loans, Housing Assistance
  5. Restoration of the Right to Purchase and Possess Firearms
  6. Be able to Hunt and/or Received a License to Carry a Concealed Weapon

Who is Eligible For a Pennsylvania Expungement?

In Pennsylvania, a limited category of defendants are eligible to have their charges expunged. You are eligible to have your charges expunged in PA in the following situations:

  1. You were found NOT guilty on all charges;
  2. Your charges were withdrawn by the prosecution;
  3. You successfully completed the ARD program and paid all program costs;
  4. You were found guilty of a SUMMARY offense and you have not been arrested or prosecuted for five years following the offense;
  5. You are over the age of 70 and have been free of arrest or prosecution for 10 years;
  6. A person has been deceased for 3 years;
  7. You have certain JUVENILE charges AND are 18 years old and the prosecution consents to expungement OR you have been off of juvenile probation supervision for a period of 5 years;
  8. Underage drinking charges can be expunged after you turn 21 years of age;
  9. You were pardoned from criminal charges.



Who is NOT  Eligible for Expungement

You are NOT eligible to have your Pennsylvania record expunged in the following situations:

  1. You were found guilty of a felony;
  2. You were found guilty of a misdemeanor.

No matter how much time has passed since the crime took place, in Pennsylvania you are NOT eligible to have any felony or misdemeanor charges expunged if you plead guilty. This includes minor charges such as possession of a small amount of marijuana and DUI's for which you were not placed on ARD.


How do I get my record expunged?  

A Petition for Expungement must be filed with the court.  A court hearing may be scheduled depending on the position of the District Attorney.  If the Court orders the expungement, then a certified order to the agencies having control over the records such as:  PA State Police, the filing police department, Sheriff’s Department, FBI, Clerk of Courts, District Attorney’s Office, Magisterial District Court and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.


How long does the process take?


A Pennsylvania Expungement requires a lot of paperwork that is handled by various offices. Therefore, a large part of the process is determined by the backlog of each office. We work diligently to get the appropriate paperwork filed to expedite the process as quickly as possible.