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The New Law Regarding Limited Access to Criminal Records

In November of 2016, Pennsylvania passed a new law that enables an individual to have their criminal record sealed if certain prerequisites are met.  This is a different process than an expungement, as different conditions must be met and the record is “sealed,” rather than expunged.  Sealing the record means that the criminal record may still be viewed by law enforcement, state licensing agencies, and other government agencies, but not the general public.

The following perquisites must be met in order to qualify to have your record sealed:

  • The offense that you are looking to have sealed cannot be a first degree misdemeanor or felony.
  • You must be free of arrest or prosecution following conviction or final release from confinement or supervision, whichever is later, for a period of ten years.
  • If the offense is a second degree misdemeanor, it cannot be for simple assault.
  • Additionally, if the offense is a second degree misdemeanor, or a 3rd degree misdemeanor, you will not qualify if:
    • It has not been more than ten years since you finished your sentence for the offense.
    • You have ever been convicted of a felony.
    • You have ever been convicted of a first degree misdemeanor.
    • You have ever been convicted of a first or second degree simple assault.
    • You have four or more offenses punishable by imprisonment of one or more years.

There are other conditions that may disqualify certain individuals.  For more information, please contact our criminal law attorneys today.

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