Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Record Expungement

Anyone who has been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime will have a public criminal record that can affect other important aspects of their lives. Having a criminal record can seriously impact a person for long after their sentence has been completed despite having repaid their debt to society. Pennsylvanians may face larger difficulty obtaining employment, housing and education than their counterparts who have never had a criminal record even years after their sentence has passed.

Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to have a criminal record expunged or sealed. This will prevent the record from coming up in background checks and make it invisible to the public, including potential employers. In Pennsylvania, records cannot be sealed, but they can be expunged. This means only one copy of the record is retained by a law enforcement agency, while all others are destroyed. The criteria for record expungement is very specific. The experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Patrick G. Geckle can help determine who is eligible for expungement and help them through the process.

Eligibility for Expungement

Expungement is fairly straightforward in cases where an arrest was made, but there was no disposition within 18 months and there are no pending criminal proceedings. It becomes more complicated if a person was convicted of a crime. If the person has completed an Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, he or she may qualify for expungement. This does not apply in cases involving a sex crime against a minor.

The criteria for expungement varies depending on the type of violation. For example, those convicted of an offense involving the possession or consumption of alcohol may have their record expunged if they have successfully completed their sentence and were at least 21 years old when the offense was committed.

In other cases, the amount of time that has passed since the crime may affect eligibility for expungement. A summary offense, typically punished by a fine or jail sentence of 90 days or less, can be expunged from a record once five years have passed since any criminal proceedings took place. A record may be expunged for a person 70 years or older if at least ten years has passed since criminal proceedings were brought against them, or if the subject of the record passed away three or more years ago.

Expungement Petitions

In order to receive an expungement, a petition must be submitted to the court that presided over the criminal record. They will then determine if a case qualifies based on the established criteria. There are some crimes that are not eligible for expungement and some circumstances may prevent a record from being expunged. An experienced criminal lawyer in Philadelphia can help determine whether a person is eligible and guide them through the necessary steps to maximize their chance of success.

Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer, Patrick G. Geckle, Provides Comprehensive Counsel to Those with Criminal Records

If you have been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia criminal lawyer, Patrick G. Geckle can help you determine your eligibility to expunge your criminal history. Our legal team has the knowledge and experience to successfully present your petition and get you the most favorable result possible. With offices conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, we help clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including the communities of Philadelphia County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Call us today at 215-735-3326 or toll-free at 800-555-7780 or contact us online for a consultation with a qualified criminal lawyer.