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Pennsylvania Expungement FAQsFrequently Asked Questions


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Topic: Pennsylvania Expungement FAQs
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Chrissy
7th January 2016 11:44am
My husband had a Misdemeanor 1 for theft in 1997. He thought he was in the ARD program but found his charges on the PA DOJ site. However on the PA State Police Site he has NO Record. What does this mean, can his record be expunged?
Admin:
Without more information, we cannot determine his eligibility. If he did in fact receive ARD and successfully complete the program, he would be eligible for an expungement of those records. This sounds possible as the case did not appear on the PSP records. However, if it was not ARD that he received but rather just a conviction with probation, he would not be eligible for expungement. In that case, his only option would be to apply for a pardon. If granted, a pardon would make him eligible for an expungement at that time. Please contact us if you would like to get started on case research.  We charge a small fee ($250) for the research and that fee is then applied to any service we perform (such as an ARD expungement or pardon).
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Courtney
4th January 2016 6:50pm
I just did my expungement today. I was wondering how long it takes to come off my record so I can get a job. Is there a time frame it takes? Because I was on probation for ARD and was granted ARD to clear my record by judge when I first had court. So what would I be waiting for until it's clear off my record?
Admin:
It will typically be removed from your official records, held by the state and local agencies within 60 days.  Private, commercial background check companies may not update their databases for much longer.  We offer a service to help prevent your expunged record from continuing to appear on background checks.  For more information, please see our page on our Expedited Record Clearance Update service.
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KB
16th December 2015 9:04am
I completed the ARD program in Bucks County, PA (please note this is NOT for a DUI) in 2010, and I got the notice of expungement, and months later I did background checks on myself, including with the PA state police, and no record was found. After expungement I was told I can legally deny having any criminal record. I just want to be sure the same applies when entering Canada or must I still confess to it?
Admin:
You should be fine denying the existence of the case that was expunged in PA. If you still have a copy of the expungement order, it may be best for you to have a copy of that on you when you enter Canada in case their database has not been updated and they still have a record of the case for some reason and question why you did not disclose it to them.
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Rose R.
9th December 2015 9:33am
I was recently charged with a summary offense and am currently in the CHAART program to have the offense expunged. The judge mentioned that I may need to get my fingerprints removed at a different time. I thought that that was included with the expungement? If not, how do I go about clearing my fingerprints from record?
Admin:
Typically, the entire record should be removed once the expungement is granted and complied with, because the standard order the judge signs in PA specifies fingerprints are also to be destroyed. It sounds as though you are still going through the process, this is something you may want to check with the judge again on at the end of your case or discuss this with your attorney if you are represented.  Please contact us if you have any additional questions.
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Tina
7th December 2015 7:29pm
I have a felony bank theft that recently showed up on an FBI clearance that I need for the local school district I work in. I plead guilty to this back in 1999/2000 and took a punishment for others in the bank. I guess I never thought this would show up. I have worked in the district for 14 years and nothing ever showed up on any other clearances. This has been an embarrassment all these years. I have not turned in my clearances since I just received them last week. Not sure how this will impact my job for the future. Wondering if this type of felony can be expunged, sealed or pardoned in the state of Pennsylvania. Also wondering if there is a statute of limitations pertaining to employment in a school district with a record.
Admin:
Unfortunately, felony convictions are not eligible to be expunged in PA under the current laws.  You can apply for a pardon, which if granted, would allow you to also expunge the case.  Felony convictions also do not ever automatically come off of your record. The school district, as with any other employer, can decide how to weigh the fact it happened quite some time ago but it will remain on your record are visible to them.  If you are interested in a Pennsylvania Pardon, please  view our Pardon Page or contact our office.  Thank you.
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MIke
8th November 2015 12:09am
I have a question. I completed my ARD program in PA Dauphin County, and I thought my record was going to be expunged and this happened in 2011. I recently got a job offer with the government, so I decided to do my own background check first before submitting the paper work. So, i was able to find out my record easily from instantcheckmate.com. I was curious how that possible as I paid $1000 for my ARD program and complied with their rule( random drug test, sending email every month, fee every month on top of the $1000) So what can I do? Does this mean my record is still have not been updated by private background checking companies?
Admin:
In this case, the problem could be that your case was not properly expunged by the court or other state agencies following the expungement.  Alternatively, your case may have been expunged following the ARD completion but it is simply an issue of the private background check companies/databases have not been updated.  The best way to determine what the next step should be is to figure out if the court records have been expunged.  You can contact the court to determine that.  If you are interested in having us do this research for you, please contact our office.  If it is just the databases that are the problem, we offer a couple different services to help.  Please view on page on our Expedited Record Clearance Update.
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Missy
21st October 2015 12:42pm
I am on ARD currently. If I apply to drive for Uber, will a DUI from May 2014 show up on their background check since I'm on ARD?
Admin:
Because you are still currently on ARD, it may appear on their background check.  ARD cases generally appear on the state level checks until the sentence is completed.  Once ARD is completed, the charges and dismissed and the case becomes eligible to be expunged.
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James
18th October 2015 1:31pm
I went to court my records have been expunged. Now they tell me to take paperwork to police district, why?
Admin:
It sounds like the court is letting you know how to properly serve all the agencies that may have records of your case so the expungement order may be complied with by all the agencies.  Once the Court of Common Pleas grants the expungement the order still needs to be distributed to all the other agencies (lower court, state police, local police, etc.) to ensure it is removed properly everywhere.  Some courts serve the order themselves, while some require the individual who petitioned for expungment (or their attorney) to serve those documents themselves.
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Desiree
6th October 2015 3:55am
When I was 19 I was charged with a hit and run for leaving the scene of a car accident that wasn't my fault even though I came right back. My lawyer told me to take ARD because if I fought the case and lost I would definitely do jail time. Now, at 28 years old I am being charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Will I be ineligible for expungement since I previously had ARD?
Admin:
You will be ineligible for ARD because you previously were granted ARD.  And if you are convicted of those charges, since they will be a misdemeanor or felony most likely, those convictions would be ineligible to be expunged. Once your case has been resolved, please contact us if you are interested in expungement of that previous ARD case or a pardon for any misdemeanor or felony convictions. Good luck.
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Terri
2nd October 2015 10:21am
My son was issued summons by the University of Pittsburgh Police 3 years ago. We hired a lawyer and took care of the charges and the record was expunged by order of the courts. Recently, he was outside talking to a friend with a beer can when I party down the street was busted for underage drinking by the Pitt police. They saw my son and approached him, assuming he came from the house they just busted. He was of age - they asked him if he had any priors and he said "no" because he thought the record was sealed. They came back to him and told him he lied because he had an underage drinking prior 3 years ago, so they issued him a ticket for an open container offense. We are confused because we thought since the record was expunged that the record was sealed. The reason why this is all a big deal is because he is a pre-med student and it may affect his ability to get into medical school. Should the Pitt police have been able to known about the previous offense if it was expunged?
Admin:
The prior offense if it was properly expunged could still be accessible to courts and law enforcement upon request "solely for the purposes of determining subsequent eligibility for such programs, identifying persons in criminal investigations or determining the grading of subsequent offenses." So the police department may have access to it if they did a search for your son.  If you are concerned that the case was not properly expunged 3 years ago, you can contact the courts and/or do a criminal record search through the PA State Police to determine if the information is still showing up to the public anywhere.  
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Erica
14th September 2015 4:47pm
I was previously convicted of a felony drug charge, but it was expunged from my record. I was recently pulled over for a DUI and was wondering if I would be eligible for ARD. I know the program is for first time offenders, but aside from my previous charges which were expunged, I have no previous offenses. Would I qualify for ARD, or will this DUI be on my record forever?
Admin:
Unfortunately, your prior drug charge will likely prevent you from being admitted into the ARD program for this pending DUI. Typically, PA maintains a record of the expunged case for this purpose, to determine eligibility for diversion programs in the future. This is especially true if you received ARD for the drug charge, which seems likely if you were able to expunge it. If your expungement was in a different state, that may affect PA's ability to see/use that case against you.  Your defense attorney can always discuss the possibility of ARD with the DA, but if your prior case was in PA it is likely they will be able to see you received the benefit of the ARD program/an expungement in the past and will not allow you to enter the program for a second time. If you are not able to get the charge dismissed (after ARD or with an outright dismissal), your only option under the current laws would be to apply for a pardon.
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Concerned Person
22nd August 2015 5:51am
Last February 2014 I was pulled over and received a DUI. I was also in possession of controlled substances is what was written in the paper when I was released from the Roundhouse. This was my first time in trouble with the law and have no prior record. I completed the ARD Program but while at court nothing had been mentioned about the possession. Was it dropped along with the DUI because I completed the ARD Program? I received a letter in the mail and am eligible for an expungement of my DUI, but again nothing mentioned about possession. I'm eager to begin a career in social work and am worried this one aweful day is going to make life and pursuing my dream much more difficult and possibly take a year or more, which worries me. Will the possession charge go away because I completed the ARD program or is that something that I will have the handle separately?? Any advice or knowledge on this situation would be appreciated.

Admin:
If you did not plead guilty separately to the possession charge it most likely was either included in the ARD sentence or dropped entirely.  It is possible you plead guilty to that separate charge, but you most likely would recall doing so.  You can pull up your case dockets or have an attorney do so for you to determine the exact was that charge was handled and if both charges are eligible to be expunged.  Assuming it was either dismissed or part of the ARD, you will be able to expunge them both together.  Please take our test online to sign up or contact us to get started on researching and completing your PA expungement.
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John B.
9th August 2015 5:04am
I was arrested 20 years ago and had 3 criminal charges against me. 2 of which were criminal trespassing and criminal conspiracy but charges were dropped. I was employed as a teacher (my first year teaching) then and my school district continued my employment after charges were dropped. Since then folks have retired, administration has changed several times. No one is there that even remembers the shame I went through. Teachers need to have their clearances updated. I did an FBI finger print report recently and the arrest showed up. I have not submitted it yet. Can this be expunged and how long does it take? All clearances are due by Decembers end. Can I even do another FBI clearance should the record be expunged? I feel like I'm reliving the nightmare of 20 years ago!
Admin:
The length of time the case takes to be expunged by the court and then have the expungement processed by the FBI varies depending on many factors.  It is possible to be done by the end of the year, but you would really need to get the processed started ASAP.  The time frame depends on how busy the court is at the time of filing, whether the DA consents to the request or opposes (and how long they take to respond).  The FBI can take 30-60 days to update their records following the judge granting the exxpungement and the order being distributed. Depending on your employer requirements, you should be able to request a new FBI report. Your case does sound like it is eligible to be expunged as the charges were dropped.  Please contact us if you would like us to get started on your case.  Thank you.
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Cheryl
4th August 2015 11:14pm
Does an ARD for a DUI charge show up as having a criminal record on the PATCH report for the PA state police?
Admin:
Under PA law, criminal history information should not be disseminated, including on the PATCH report, if:
(1) Three years have elapsed from the date of arrest; (2) No conviction has occurred; AND (3) No proceedings are pending seeking a conviction.  Therefore, if your arrest (that resulted in ARD) was more than three years ago and the case has since been closed/dismissed, it should not appear on your PATCH report.  Please contact us if you are interested in expunging your ARD case. 
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Jennifer B.
27th June 2015 9:10pm
I have a summary retail theft record that my lawyer said it was expunged but it obviously wasn't. When employers do a police background check its doesn't come up until they do fingerprints for the FBI database why is that? This incident happened 4 years ago does it typically take that long? Should I get another lawyer? I feel like he is hiding something from me.
Admin:
Criminal records can often appear in some background checks but not others depending on what the potential employer requests.  Summary offenses are minor offenses and often they are not reported to an employer, but as you have witnessed that does not mean the case has been fully expunged and records are still available (such as through the FBI).  I am sorry for the trouble you are having with your current attorney.  You indicated the incident occurred 4 years ago.  In PA, you must wait five years before expunging a summary offense if you were found guilty of the offense.  As long as you have remained arrest and conviction free since that conviction, you would be eligible five years from the date of conviction.  Please contact us if you are interested in getting signed up for a summary offense expungement.
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Nicole A.
16th June 2015 12:57pm
I successfully completed the ARD program after a DUI and had the case was expunged. Am I eligible for entry to Canada?
Admin:
You should be able to enter Canada. It is possible that they could still have a record of the case.  This could occur if it had ever been entered into their database and they somehow have not received notice of the expungement. But after the expungement, the case should have been removed from the FBI records which would hopefully update with Canadien officials as well. To be safe, I'd suggest having a copy of the expungement order with you when you attempt to cross the border just in case it does pop up in their system.  Showing them the case has been dismissed and expunged should help clear up any issues that arise.
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Jay
6th June 2015 9:53am
I have completed ARD and paid my fine. I am now in the process of expungement. My question is once my expungement is finalized and my records are sealed what is the likelihood that i will be hired for a driving job such as trucking or maybe UBER. I am asking this because on this site it is stated that it remains on your MVR for ten years.
Admin:
We cannot say what the likelihood of being hired for any specific job would be.  A DUI that resulted in ARD will remain on your driving record in PA for 10 years and unfortunately an expungement of the court records does not affect the driving records.  If a company pulls your driving record, they will continue to see the existence of that past case. It will then be up to their discretion whether to hire an applicant or not.
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AJ
22nd April 2015 6:20pm
I had a summary offense for shoplifting when I was 17. It cleared from my state criminal record upon turning 18. Guess how surprised I was when it unexpectedly showed up on my FBI clearance for teaching?! Now we are mandated to go through that process again, and I'm wondering if expungement would take care of the FBI record? What I have been reading is that I should petition the court in which the charges originated, but then...my state record is clear.
Admin:
Yes, if granted, an expungement is Pennsylvania that will generally take care of the FBI record as well.  The PA State Police will forward on the expungement order to the FBI, who routinely comply with the expungement orders. I will note that the FBI is not required to comply with a state court\'s expungement order, but they typically do, unless there were extremely rare circumstances involved, such as the case involved a threat to national security, which clearly your case falls nowhere near that type/level of offense.
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Faith
31st March 2015 3:18pm
I was told that I was eligible for a full expungment but when I went to file was told that I can't get it because I have two summary offenses within a year of each other. So can I petition the court for a partial and and a full and also what's a difference of summary expungment.
Admin:
If five years have passed since your most recent summary offense conviction, meaning you are free from conviction for the past five years, you should be able to expunge both cases.  We have had success for our clients in that situation, where the waiting period is the past five years not the five years immediately folliowing the conviction.  Please contact our office to discuss the specifics of your cases so we can determine if we can help you.
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Barry L.
10th March 2015 8:21am
My criminal conviction has an approved court order for expungement but my understanding is that it will take about 4 months to complete all the paperwork. If asked on employment form about crime and they allow "no" for an expunged crime, can I consider the court order good enough or do I still need to wait?
Admin:
As long as the judge has signed the court order granting the expungement, you can legally say "no" on the applications.  The only risk during the time between it being granted and the expungement order being processed with all the agencies is that if one of the employers does a background check on you, it may still appear. However, you can then show the employer the paperwork and let them know the case had already been expunged.
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Williams
13th February 2015 8:55am
Is it true that an expungement cannot be granted, in the state of PA, if you plead no contest? I was told this by another attorney. The conviction occurred almost 20 years ago and no other arrests made since.
Admin:
The expungement law in PA does not currently provide for the expungement of misdemeanor or felony convictions, unless you received and completed ARD or are over the age of 70.  Pennsylvania law permits expungement of ARD cases, summary offense convictions and cases that did not result in a conviction.
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Tecmarc
5th November 2014 11:59pm
Can I expunge 2 DUIs? The first one was an ARD and the second charge was a 3802A1 that happened six months later. I was found guilty more than 10 years ago and my record is clean since.
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Jenna Thorne
26th November 2014 9:00pm
Your ARD case may be eligible if you successfully completed it (and it was not revoked due to your second case). The second DUI conviction would not be eligible for expungement in Pennsylvania, unless you are over the age of 70. Please take our eligibility test to determine which cases are eligible for expungement in PA. The other option available to you in PA is to apply for a pardon, please visit our Pardon page for more information.
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mrslucasscott
20th August 2014 2:38am
Will an expungement for Summary Retail Theft allow me to have my name removed from NRMA and other such websites? If not, would Record gone be able to assist me in getting my name removed?
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MathewHigbee
20th August 2014 3:22am
The NRMA is the National Retail Mutual Association. It is a database made available only to retail stores who pay to be a member of the NRMA. The data comes from signed admissions by those who were accused of retail theft. It is not a court or government record. A court expungement will not have any effect on the NRMA. The good news is that the NRMA only keeps records of incidents for seven years, after that, records are no longer reported. You can read more about the NRMA at http://www.geninfo.com/theftda...
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mrslucasscott
20th August 2014 6:26am
Do you have to wait the 7 years or can you get a lawyer to have your name removed before then? There are other such websites like Hire Right. Will they only keep a name on file for 7 or so years? I was told by someone that GIS may be able to assist me in having my name removed? Is this true? If so where can I find a link to their site and what does GIS stand for?
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Jenna Thorne
25th August 2014 6:33pm
If you have your case expunged through the court, there is a chance that GIS would remove your name from the NRMA's database prior to the 7 years expiring. However, as previously mentioned, the expungement would not have a direct effect on the NRMA database, but it would give you some ammunition when dealing with them to request they remove your information.The NRMA's website seems to imply that they do comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and therefore if you submit a dispute and provide an expungement order, you may be able to have your name removed at that point. Without an expungement order, I do not believe there is much an attorney could do to remove your information. GIS stands for General Information Systems, and they are the company that maintains the NRMA Retail Theft Database.
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mrslucasscott
17th October 2014 4:40am
I am more than halfway through the CAP program(a kind of ARD for Retail Theft). I have done my 6 hours of community service, written a letter of apology to the Loss Prevention Agent and did a research paper on the effects of retail theft on businesses. Now I just have to wait until my sponsor signs off on my program which should happen just after Thanksgiving. Until then I still need to check in with him once a week. My questions are as follows: Will my expungement also cover the fingerprints, the arrest record, and the citation (issued on the day of the arrest)? How long will the expungement process take and do I need to do something to initiate it in District Court? Who will able to see the file besides law enforcement? I work in retail now, but I would like to get a job at bank or maybe with the city or State where I live. Will I be able to pass a criminal background check once the charges are expunged? I would also like to attend nursing school, will I have any problems obtaining ... Read More
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Jenna Thorne
27th October 2014 10:19pm
I am not too familiar with the Community Accountability Program that you are currently completing. It does appear that the expungement should be completed automatically upon successful completion of the terms of the program by the court. However, CAP is a very new program in PA and you should ensure that if the court does automatically grant expungement of the case, that the expungement order is served on all agencies that might have records of the arrest. You would also want to obtain and save a copy of the court order directing expungement. Often, at least in ARD cases, the court would "expunge" the records but did not notify any other agencies of the expungement. Once an expungement is granted and served on all agencies, it should allow you to pass a background check and will remove all records relating to the arrest and court case. If the automatic expungement is not properly completed, you would be eligible to apply for an arrest record expungement through the county court ... Read More

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