Many people are interested in getting expungements of past criminal offenses. For the purposes of seeking an expungement, it is important to note that there is a significant difference between dispositions that occurred when the individual was a juvenile (under the age of 18) and dispositions that occurred when the individual was an adult (18 years of age or older).
As a general rule, "adult" offenses can be expunged when the defendant participated in an "accelerated rehabilitative disposition" or "ARD" program. Common examples include DUI charges.
In addition, individuals can petition for the expungement of summary offenses that occurred as an adult (such as retail theft) when more than five years have elapsed since the commission of the offense. Furthermore, expungement can be granted for adult offenses where a court order requires that nonconviction data be expunged. Otherwise, an individual typically has to be 70 years of age or older and free of arrest or prosecution for ten years to expunge an adult offense.
Juvenile criminal offenses provide more opportunities for expungement. Juvenile offenses can be expunged in several circumstances. The most broad instance is where more than five years have elapsed since the conviction of the juvenile offense, and the juvenile is 18 years or older. In addition, juvenile offenses can be expunged in the following situations, including:
- A complaint is filed which is not substantiated or the petition is dismissed by the court.
- Six months have elapsed since the final discharge of the person from supervision under a consent decree.
- The Commonwealth consents to the expungement.
If you are eligible for expungement of an adult or juvenile offense, and are interested in seeking a clean slate, contact me for more information, or another attorney in your area.