Frequently Asked Questions


What are the benefits of having criminal records expunged?
Do all criminal history records disappear after expungement?
How long will it take to have my record expunged?
What records cannot be expunged?
What are the benefits of hiring an expunge ARD attorney?
How long does it take to obtain a pardon?
What is the main reason an expungement request is denied?

Question: What are the benefits of having criminal records expunged?

Answer:

• Better employment opportunities
• Legally allows the individual to say they have not been convicted of a crime
• Will no longer being afraid to undergo a criminal background check
• Will have the right to obtain a professional license
• Will be legally allowed to purchase or carry a firearm
• Will have the opportunity to serve in the military

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Question: Do all criminal history records disappear after expungement?

Answer:

Once a judge has granted an expungement of records, the criminal division of the Department of Court Records will eliminate all non-conviction information from any electronic database and physical case files. All criminal justice agencies must be notified, including:

• Adult Probation Department
• Behavior Clinic Department
• The Bureau of Criminal Investigations
• The Office of the District Attorney
• The Magisterial District Judge
• The Pennsylvania State Police
• The Arresting Agency
• The Sheriff’s Department

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Question: How long will it take to have my record expunged?

Answer:
It can take up to one year before the expungement process is completed after the judge signs the Order of Expungement.

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Question: What records cannot be expunged?

Answer:

An individual is not eligible for expungement if the victim was under 18 at the time when the following offense occurred:

• Section 3121—Rape
• Section 3122.1—Statutory sexual assault
• Section 3123—Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
• Section 3124.1—Sexual assault
• Section 3124.2—Institutional sexual assault
• Section 3125—Aggravated indecent assault
• Section 3126—Indecent assault

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Question: What are the benefits of hiring an expunge ARD attorney?

Answer:

One of the major benefits is that the defendant will not be required to appear in court. An experienced attorney will make sure that the case is done right from the beginning. Most cases can be completed within three to four months, but some may take longer depending upon the circumstances. Delays can happen if the District Attorney’s office has filed an objection or the county court is backlogged.

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Question: How long does it take to obtain a pardon?

Answer:

According to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, it can take up to three years before a hearing may be granted. If the Board grants a hearing, the case will be heard at the next scheduled session.

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Question: What is the main reason an expungement request is denied?

Answer:

The most common reasons an application for expungement is denied include:

• There is a mistake on the application or in the court record.
• The court does not feel that it in the best interest of society to grant the expungement.
• The individual did not comply with all of the court’s requirements.
• The offense is not eligible for expungement.

An expungement attorney can re-file the case if they believe that the court made a mistake.

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