Q: Who is eligible for expungements?
A: Many people are eligible. Specifically:
- Those with charges that were dismissed, withdrawn or nol-prossed
- Those with a summary conviction
- Those with juvenile records
- Those with ARD dispositions
- Those with a ‘Section 17’ disposition
- Those who are over 70
- Those who have been dead for three years
- Those with underage consumption convictions
- Those with convictions that have been pardoned
Q: What are the exclusions for expungement under ARD?
A: Someone who received ARD for one of the following offenses may
not have the record expunged if the victim is under the age of 18.
- Section 3121 (relating to rape).
- Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).
- Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse).
- Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).
- Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).
- Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).
- Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).
- Section 5902(b) (relating to prostitution and related offenses).
- Section 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).
Q: Who is eligible for a Pardon?
A: Virtually any offense, or combination of offenses can be pardoned. The Board of Pardons will examine the nature of the charges, the reason for the charges, the time that has passed, what the person has done with their life since the charges, and what hardships the person faces because of the criminal history.
Q: What is enough time?
A: That is up to the Board of Pardons. They consider several factors.
Q: How long does an expungement take?
A: Expungements can be filed at the County Court level. The petition can be prepared and filed within 30 days, the Court may take 30 days to review it, the District Attorneys may wish to take a position on the petition. Once the Court signs the Order, it must be circulated to the appropriate agencies, who are supposed to respond within 30 days, although they are currently backlogged.
Q: How long does a Pardon take?
A: The pardon process can take years. Simple summary expungements can usually be presented to the Board within a year. Other charges can take two years or more to have the hearing before the Board. After the Board makes a recommendation, the Governor can take 6 months or more to sign the pardon. Then, the record can be expunged.
Q: Is the expungement guaranteed?
A: No. Depending on which expungement is applicable, the District Attorney’s office may support the expungement, or oppose the expungement, or ask for a hearing after which the Court decides.
Q: Is the Pardon guaranteed?
A: No. Because the Board of Pardons considers and weighs so many factors, it is not guaranteed. It is however the only avenue available for those with multiple convictions.
Q: What does it cost?
A: The rates vary depending on the services required, but range from $500 for a simple expungement to $3000.