Do you think you need an expungement or pardon? You’re not alone.
Many more people come into contact with the criminal justice system than you may think. The range of contacts with the system can be from serving a prison sentence to being questioned on the street by a police officer. Simply being arrested, even where the charges were dismissed, can create criminal history record information in numerous computer databases with various government agencies. This leaves many people with “a record”.
Since 9/11, there has been big demand for criminal history information, especially from employers seeking to conduct background checks on job candidates. If someone was arrested and later found to be innocent, the criminal record may still remain, somewhere, waiting to rear its ugly head. Many people forget about the arrest until they get denied employment because of the criminal record.
There are, however, laws that protect you from being denied employment because of an erroneous criminal history record.
In Pennsylvania, arrest records that do not lead to a conviction may be expunged. A person is generally convicted upon a guilty verdict or a guilty plea. However, convictions may not be expunged. If someone seeks to clean up a record of conviction, a governor’s pardon or clemency may be available.
Some states are more lax with expunging criminal records. For example, in New Jersey, some criminal convictions, along with the record of arrest, can be expunged.
A thorough attorney will pull you criminal record information from the state police and court prior to filing a Petition for Expungement. This ensures that all records that may need to be included in the petition are included. Also, it is a better practice to send a copy of the expungement order to commercial criminal history reporting companies to make sure that they do not report expunged information.
We would be happy to review your criminal history with you and make sure that your record remains as clean as lawfully possible.