Having a criminal history can affect your quality of life. You may find it hard to land a job, housing or even education opportunities simply because you have a criminal record.
Fortunately, there is a way you can deal with your criminal past – by expunging your record. Here is how expungements work.
Your criminal record will not be visible to others
Think of expungements as getting a new lease of life. When your criminal record is expunged, it will not be visible to the public. Your record will not appear in a background check by a potential employer or landlord. Additionally, you are not legally required to disclose your criminal past after expungement.
Are you eligible for expungement in Pennsylvania?
Not everyone qualifies to have their criminal records expunged under Pennsylvania law. It depends on several factors such as the nature of your crimes, how long ago they took place and how they were resolved.
For instance, you may be eligible for expungement if the court dismissed your charges due to insufficient evidence. Similarly, it is possible to have your record expunged if the prosecution withdrew your charges. You may also be eligible for expungement if you were convicted of a petty offense if it happened more than five years ago and you haven’t been arrested since then.
The list above is not exhaustive, and there may be other instances not listed above where you may be eligible for expungement.
Understand how the expungement process works
Your criminal past should not interfere with your present life, given that it’s all behind you now. You need to be aware of your legal options in getting things back on track.
However, expungement involves some legal nuances that can be tricky to navigate. It is advisable to seek help if you are unaware of what you need to do.