A public education campaign launched by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Insurance and Trust Fund, 34 county bar associations and additional partners. In addition to its existing expungement laws, Pennsylvania is joining a growing number of other states implementing new laws that limit access toinformation about criminal histories with the primary goal of removing barriers to employment, housing and education
Pennsylvania’s new law, which goes into effect on Nov. 14, 2016, will allow individuals to petition the court for an order of limited access to information about some nonviolent second- and third-degree misdemeanors, including ungraded offenses, provided the individuals have completed all punishment from previous convictions and have had no arrests or prosecutions for at least 10 years.
A person who qualifies for relief may file a petition with the court of common pleas in the county where the case was filed. The District Attorney’s Office will be notified of the petition and will have an opportunity to file an objection. Ultimately, the judge assigned to the matter will decide whether to grant or deny the petition.
If the petition is approved, the general public will no longer have access to some information, but criminal histories will still be available to law enforcement and state licensing agencies.
Learn more about Pennsylvania’s existing expungement laws and the new law limiting access to criminal records. Get a copy of the free brochure, “Understanding Expungement and Limited Access to Criminal Records.”
Read more about the public information campaign in the news release.