PENNSYLVANIA EXPUNGEMENT &
CRIMINAL RECORD RELIEF LAWYERS
PENNSYLVANIA EXPUNGEMENT & CRIMINAL RECORD RELIEF LAWYERS
Thank you for visiting Lampman Law, we are located on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. From the time Lampman Law opened we have; focused on criminal defense, been in Pennsylvania criminal courts daily, and helped many good people move their lives forward by expunging their criminal records.
Experienced & Personal Expungement Service
If you think that a past mistake is keeping you from reaching your full potential call Lampman Law to personally discuss your eligibility for an expungement with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Lampman Law offers friendly and free phone or in-office expungement consultations. Unlike some national “expungement law firms” located in (California, Utah, or Texas) we do not use a form to determine expungement eligibility—we personally review cases for eligibility. More importantly, unlike those operations, all expungements are done in our office by Attorneys David Lampman or Lenny Gryskewicz. Thus, we are not an expungement factory. We are real Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers providing customized expungements within Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania has complex rules on expungements. In sum, there are several types of expungements and they are not all equal and may not fully erase a record. See PA Expungement Overview for a detailed review. In general, these records are eligible:
- Acquittal & Dismissal
- ARD or PWOV
- Pardoned Convictions
- Non-Convictions in Negotiated Pleas
- Summary Convictions (after 5 yrs.)
- Underage Alcohol Convictions
- Certain Juvenile Dispositions
- Deceased for 3 years or longer
- Defendant is at least 70 and without arrest for 10 years beyond release from supervision.
- Involuntary 302 Commitments
Limited Access Order apply to low-level misdemeanor offenders. 10 years must pass since supervision ends and petitioner must be crime free during the 10-year period. See PA Limited Access Overview. Some eligible convictions:
- First Offense DUIs
- Subsequent DUIs (certain offenses)
- Possession of Controlled Substance
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Thefts (certain offenses)
- Prostitution (certain offenses)
- Simple Assault (M3)
- Strangulation (certain offenses)
- Recklessly Endangering Another
- Disorderly Conduct (M3)
- Harassment (M)
- Bad Checks (certain offenses)
- Open Lewdness
- Transmission Explicit Images by Minor
Many other (M2) or (M3) Offenses
For any felony or misdemeanor of the first-degree to be expungement eligible, it must first be granted a pardon by the Governor. This is a very lengthy process. Historically, pardons have been granted very sparingly. To learn more, see PA Pardons Overview.
Any felony or misdemeanor conviction that is not otherwise eligible for expungement or limited access may the expunged if a pardon is granted.
The Value of an Expunged or Limited Access
A clean record is priceless. Here are some examples of how an expungement, limited access order, or pardon can remove barriers concerning:
Volunteering for certain Youth Activities
Voting (depending where you live)
Adoption or Forster Parents (depending where you live)
Expungements and Limited Access Orders also remove public access to all docket sheet and conviction data on Pennsylvania’s UJS Web Portal.
Expungement Process, Fees, & Timeline
1. Free Consultation and Intake. At Lampman Law, we offer free consultations either via phone or in our office. Here, we discuss your situation and goals. We also identify the case(s) you wish to expunge. If you are likely eligible for and would benefit for record relief, we will quote a fee to fully review your case and prepare a report explaining your eligibility status.
2. Written Fee Agreement. If you decide to retain us, we will provide you with a detailed written fee agreement that will explain our fees for: (a) reviewing your case and drafting the eligibility report; (b) drafting the expungement petition, filing it with the court, getting the government’s position on the petition (probations and the prosecutors consent or objection), and presenting it to the court for approval; and (c) appearing in court for a hearing if the government objects to the petition. The fee agreement will also identify the additional costs you must pay for a Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Criminal History Record and the court’s filing fees. We will also identify our agreed upon payment schedule.
3. Full Case Review & Eligibility Report. Once Lampman Law is paid to review a case, we promptly perform a full review of the record and draft an eligibility report. If a case is ineligible, we explain why, and no further fees are due. If a case is eligible, we commence filing the petition once we are retained to proceed and the costs are paid.
4. Preparing, Filing, & Approval the Expungement Petition. Once Lampman Law is retained to draft a petition, our lawyers promptly prepare and carefully review the document. When required, we must wait for the PSP to return our request for their Criminal History Record, then must also serve the petition on the government (probation and the prosecutor) for their review. This is generally the most time-consuming portion of the process. If the government agrees with the petition, we then present it to the court with an order for approval. If the government objects to the petition, we request a hearing for the court to decide whether to grant or deny the petition. Once approved, the petition and order are then filed with the court’s clerk and are sent to the AOPC (Administrative Office for Pennsylvania Courts) for additional processing. If a petition is denied, an appeal may be filed. To date, Lampman Law has not had an expungement petition denied.
5. Timeline. Expunging any case is a lengthy process, and in general takes several months to complete. At Lampman Law, we strive to promptly request the necessary records and then timely complete our work to file the expungement petition. Again, waiting for the government’s position on the petition takes the most time. It is also important to note that once the petition is signed by the court and filed, the AOPC must still process it, which can also cause delay.
Record Relief Disclaimer – What Won’t be Erased
Expungements remove information from criminal record and apply to criminal justice agencies. Some records that police agencies maintain, such as police blotters, press releases that are disseminated contemporaneous with the incident, posters, announcements, or lists for identifying or apprehending fugitives or wanted persons, and announcements of executive clemency and not subject to expungement.
Specifically, DUI offense information on a PennDOT Driver History (license suspension record for DUI conviction or ARD disposition) will not be removed upon expungement until the 10-year DUI look-back period expires. 75 Pa.C.S. § 1534. After the 10-year lookback expires, PennDOT is required to remove the record unless the record concerning a CDL driver or a habitual offender. The District Attorney or Attorney General may also keep a record of who participated in the ARD or PWOV programs.
Further, while the federal government typically honors a Pennsylvania expungement order, they are not required to comply with the order. Federal court expungement orders are very rare. In fact, there are only a few narrow federal rules governing federal expungement orders. See e.g., 21 U.S.C. § 844 (concerning small amount of certain drugs for personal use by a youthful offender).
As previously mentioned, not all expungements provide the same level of relief. Moreover, in many cases, an expungement will not actually erase all records of a conviction when the information is maintained by non-criminal justice agencies. Indeed, expungement orders do not remove records from the Internet, social media, or from traditional media reports.
Call Now to Speak with a Pennsylvania Expungement Lawyer
Thanks again for visiting Lampman Law. Please call us at 570-371-3737 if you would like to discuss expunging a record. The call is free of charge and without pressure. We hope to hear from you today.