Erie, PA Expungement Lawyers
Tenacious Expungement Lawyers Represent Clients Convicted of Past Crimes in Erie, Pennsylvania
If you were arrested or convicted of a crime in the past, you already know that a criminal history can and will come back to haunt you, sometimes when you least expect it. Even an arrest without conviction can show up on a routine criminal background check in Erie, and disclosing this fact every time you apply for a job or a place to live forces you to relive what was perhaps an isolated incident in your past again and again. Fortunately, under Pennsylvania law, you may have the option of pursuing a claim for expungement with the courts.
Expungement essentially wipes the slate clean for eligible individuals. Once your record has successfully been expunged, it is as though you were never involved with the criminal justice system in the first place—you no longer have to disclose a conviction on a job application, credit check or elsewhere, and your arrest will not appear if you are required to submit to a background check.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our dedicated expungement lawyers have been helping clients get the fresh start they need to move forward from their criminal history for decades. We know how critical that clean slate can be, and so we work tirelessly to obtain expungements for all eligible clients. If you would like to explore options for clearing your record via the expungement process in Erie, Meadville or elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania, call our offices today to take action to protect your future.
Establishing Eligibility for Expungement in Meadville, PA
To begin the expungement process, it is first necessary to gather basic information related to the crime for which you were arrested or convicted, including evidence of how, where and when the case was resolved, in order to complete the initial petition for expungement. While expungement is a powerful tool, it is not available in every single case. You may be eligible for expungement if:
- Your case was dismissed or withdrawn,
- You were found not guilty by a judge or jury,
- You committed a summary offense more than five years ago and have not been arrested in the interim period,
- You were convicted of underage drinking and have since turned 21 and satisfied all other elements of the assigned punishment,
- You were convicted of a crime as a juvenile, and have since turned 18 (or five years have passed with no further criminal activity on your record),
- You successfully completed the Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program (which generally applies in cases involving non-violent crimes, such as DWI), including payment of all related costs,
- A temporary protection from abuse order was filed against you, but never finalized,
- You have received a pardon from the Pennsylvania governor,
- You have reached age 70 and have not been arrested or prosecuted for any criminal offense for ten years after final release from jail or supervision,
- A period of three years has passed since the individual who was convicted, charged or arrested died.
Under Pennsylvania law, certain crimes cannot be removed from your record via the expungement process. For many felony crimes, it may first be necessary to obtain a pardon from the governor before you can pursue an expungement.
Skilled Expungement Lawyers Help Clients Navigate the Process of Clearing Their Criminal Records in Erie, PA
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., we know how important it is to clear your criminal record if you were arrested or convicted of a crime in the past. Our experienced expungement lawyers are passionate about helping clients obtain that fresh start. We help our clients navigate the entire expungement process in Erie, which can produce substantial benefits, including:
- Eliminating the requirement that you must disclose the criminal activity when applying for jobs or rental housing,
- Gaining eligibility to practice in certain professional fields that require a clean criminal record for licensing purposes or obtaining a security clearance,
- Becoming eligible to work with children,
- Gaining eligibility for certain student loans,
- Restoring your right to possess a firearm or obtain a concealed weapons permit,
- Removing the general stigma of criminal activity appearing on your background check.
Contact Our Experienced Meadville, PA Expungement Lawyers to Schedule a Confidential Consultation Today
Although the benefits of expungement are significant, expungement under Pennsylvania law is not automatic. In some Meadville expungement cases, the prosecution may oppose the expungement, making the advice of a skilled expungement lawyer critical to obtaining the best possible outcome in your case. If you would like to explore the option of gaining an expungement of your criminal history, call our offices today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case. You can also fill out this online contact form or use our online chat feature.
Frequently Asked Questions About Obtaining an Expungement in Erie, PA
FAQ: Why do I need a lawyer to get an expungement in Erie when I know that I’m eligible?
The expungement process can be unfortunately complex even if you clearly qualify for expungement under Pennsylvania law. Our experienced expungement lawyers will ensure that you obtain and complete the correct paperwork with all relevant supporting information, and will file that paperwork with the correct legal departments. In some cases, the prosecution may oppose the expungement, and a skilled expungement lawyer can advocate on your behalf to explain why the expungement is appropriate. In other cases, an expungement may be denied because of a technical error. The guidance of an experienced expungement lawyer can smooth the process and ensure that you obtain the expungement if you otherwise qualify.
FAQ: What happens after I file the expungement petition with the Meadville courts?
A hearing will be scheduled where it will be determined whether to grant or deny your petition for expungement. After your expungement is granted, however, your record is not automatically and instantly cleared. Instead, the court sends an order granting the expungement to various state agencies, including the district attorney, the Erie police department, the state police department and others. Those agencies will then work to formally remove the evidence of your arrest, charges or conviction from your record.