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What is Expungement?

 

Expungement is a legal process through which some prior criminal offenses can be removed from your record.   If your record is expunged, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers. In most cases, once your case is expunged, you will be able to say that you were never arrested or convicted of a crime.  However, law enforcement officials and courts may still be able to access the expunged information under certain circumstances in order to determine your eligibility for alternative punishment programs and future offenses.

 

In Pennsylvania, no charge will be removed from your criminal record unless a judge issues an expungement order and the order is served on the proper agencies. If this process is not completed, your criminal history will remain on your record permanently. Many people are under the impression that charges will automatically come off of their record. This is hardly ever true. Even if you were found NOT guilty, your criminal record will show up on criminal background checks.  You must go through the expungement process to remove these records. 

 

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