Expungements/Limited Case Access

Expungement Guide

The directions and links below provide information about the law and expungement process designed to help filers address their own legal needs.  But legal information is not the same as legal advice – the application of the law to an individual’s specific circumstances.  Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult an attorney if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.  We cannot help you complete forms or provide legal advice and to do so would be considered the unauthorized practice of law.

1. At the PA Supreme Court's direction, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) has developed petition forms or templates for use by petitioners  in requesting the Court to have their record expunged available at the following link - http://www.pacourts.us/forms/for-the-public.   

2. Please note that the petition pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 490 relates to SUMMARY offenses ONLY and the petition pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 790 relates to CRIMINAL (misdemeanors, felonies, AND summary offenses if included with other offenses).  The petition pursuant to Pa.R.Crim.P. 790 is to be used for partial expungements as well.”  See the PA Bulletin website -  http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol40/40-41/1920.html

3. You MUST attach the required Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) background check as per Pa.R.Crim.P. 490 and 790.  Disregard the last box on the form petition(s) that inaccurately makes it appear that such a petition can be successfully filed without the required background check.  See the PSP website – http://www.psp.pa.gov/Pages/Request-a-Criminal-History-Record.aspx

4. Further information regarding your case(s) and offenses to include the Offense Tracking Number (OTN) can be found on the case docket sheets available at the PA Unified Judicial System's website at the following link - http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/ .  See "Reference Guides" on the menu bar located on the left side of the screen for information on how to navigate to both the Magisterial District and Common Pleas Court case docket sheets.  Docket sheets and/or secure court summaries are available in hard copy format upon request and payment of $.65 per page or, alternately, payment of $7.00 for a Clerk of Courts RECORDS CHECK.

5. Expungement petitions and the required PSP background check attachment are filed upon payment of the $215.10 filing fee with the Clerk of Courts office open Monday - Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays.   A copy of the petition and attachment MUST also be delivered, by the filer, to the District Attorney's office located on the third floor of the Judicial Center.

6. To learn more please review the expungement law - Act 134 of 2008

 *NOTE    By law, expungements of criminal offenses (misdemeanors/felonies) may only be considered for expungement if the charges were either dismissed, withdrawn, nolle prossed, found not guilty.  The ONLY exception a guilty disposition may be considered, by law, is if the defendant is 70 years of age or older and has not committed any new offenses in the past ten years following any period of incarceration.
 *NOTE   By law, expungements of summary offenses with a guilty disposition may only be considered if the defendant remains free of arrest or prosecution for five (5) years following the conviction.

 

Limited Access Guide

The directions and links below provide information about the law and the Limited Access process. They are designed to help filers address their own legal needs. Keep in mind that this legal information is not the same as legal advice – the application of the law to an individual’s specific circumstances.  We go to great lengths to ensure that our information is accurate and useful; however, we recommend you consult an attorney if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.  We cannot help you complete forms or provide legal advice. To do so would be considered the unauthorized practice of law.

1. Act 5 of 2016 and Pa.R.Crim.P. 791  took effect on November 14, 2016. The Act permits individuals convicted of certain nonviolent misdemeanor offenses to request the Court of Common Pleas to issue an order removing information about these convictions from public view under certain circumstances.*

2. At the PA Supreme Court's direction, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) has developed a petition form, Form 791, for use by petitioners in requesting the Court to have their record  considered for Limited Access - http://www.pacourts.us/forms/for-the-public.   

3. Further information regarding your case(s) and offenses to include the Offense Tracking Number (OTN) can be found on the case docket sheets available at the PA Unified Judicial System's website at the following link - http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/ .  See "Reference Guides" on the menu bar located on the left side of the screen for information on how to navigate to both the Magisterial District and Common Pleas Court case docket sheets.  Docket sheets and/or secure court summaries are available in hard copy format upon request and payment of $.65 per page or, alternately, payment of $7.00 for a Clerk of Courts RECORDS CHECK.

4. Limited Access petitions are filed upon payment of the $132.00 filing fee with the Clerk of Courts office open Monday - Friday 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM excluding holidays. A copy of the petition MUST also be delivered, by the filer, to the District Attorney's office located on the third floor of the Judicial Center. 

5. Act 56 of 2018 expands criminal record sealing to include more types of offenses, including some first-degree misdemeanors, which can be sealed by filing petitions (see Limited Case Access process above). The law also creates an automated computer process to seal arrests that did not result in convictions within 60 days, summary convictions after 10 years, and some second and third-degree misdemeanor convictions if there are no subsequent misdemeanor or felony convictions for a period of 10 years after the time of conviction. The automatic sealing provision will go into effect on June 28, 2019.

*NOTE This relief only pertains to certain convictions of 2nd or 3rd degree misdemeanor offenses or ungraded offenses punishable by no more than two years in jail. Regardless of the offense, a defendant is ineligible for this relief if they were convicted of any felony or misdemeanor of the first degree; or have been convicted of four or more misdemeanor offenses.
*NOTE   By law, a defendant is ineligible unless they have been free of arrest or conviction for a period of 10 years following their latest release from confinement or supervision (including the payment of all court assessments).