Expungement: Understanding what it is and how it can help

| Jan 9, 2015 | Criminal Defense

Whether it is a DUI, sex crime or drug offense, a conviction on your permanent criminal record can be damaging to your future. This is in addition to the other consequences that are part of the conviction, such as fines, license suspension and possible jail time. A conviction on your record can keep you from finding and securing good employment, a place to live and many other things. Luckily, you may have assistance here in Pennsylvania with what is called an expungement.

Most people have never heard of an expungement before. An expungement is granted to you by the court and will essentially hide your conviction from your criminal history. The record is still there, which means if you are charged with a crime in the future — particularly one of similarity — prosecutors can use it against you. However, if you go to find new employment or to get a new apartment, it won’t show up on the background check.

Expungements are typically only for non-violent crimes. In some instances, expungement is now offered as part of a plea deal. For first-time offenders with Probation Without Verdict, Allegheny Service Institute (ASI) and Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition, an expungement is automatically filed after legal costs and fines have been paid in full and all program terms and conditions have been fulfilled.

Everyone makes mistakes at some point in their lives. An expungement in Pennsylvania offers a second chance at a good life even after being convicted of a crime. It is your chance to start over and lead a better life without having to worry about your past transgressions getting in the way of your future.

Source: alleghenycounty.us, “Expungements“, Jan. 2, 2015