Criminal Record Expungement and Finding a Job
Finding a job in a fractured and uncertain economy can be hard enough, however, if you have a criminal record your chances at employment are at an even greater disadvantage. Pennsylvania has an expungement law, however, to be eligible generally a petitioner would need to establish:
1) They are seventy years old and have been free from arrest for 10 years; or
2) The subject of the arrest has been dead for three years; or
3) The charge in question was a summary charge and the subject of the arrest has been free of arrest or prosecution for five years.
For most working age people, the chance to get your criminal record expunged was non-existent until recently. On February 16, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law the Criminal History Sealing Expansion Bill. This amends the Pennsylvania Criminal Code and allows individuals who have served their punishment and remained free of arrest or prosecution for seven to ten years, for nonviolent second and third degree misdemeanors, the right to petition the court for their record to be sealed from public view. This means that if a petition is granted, law enforcement and state licensing agencies will continue to have access to those records – but those records will no longer be an impediment for employment or housing.
Even a minor criminal record can carry a lifetime of consequences. Pennsylvania now joins over half of the 50 states in offering some relief to those who have paid their debt to society and have remained crime free.
If you believe that you may be eligible for relief under this act, it is important that you contact an experienced Pennsylvania employment attorney.