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Expungement of Criminal Records

An Expungement is defined as the removal of information so that there is no trace or indication that such information existed, or the elimination of identifiers which may be used to trace the identity of an individual (allowing remaining data to be used for statistical and other aggregate purposes), or maintenance of certain information required or authorized under 18 PaCS §9122(c), where an individual has successfully completed the conditions of any pretrial or post-trial diversion or probation program..

Criminal history record information relating to the expunged offense may be expunged. Such information may include identifiable descriptions, dates, notations of arrests, indictments, informations or other formal criminal charges, and any dispositions arising from those notations and charges.

18 PaCS §9122 deals with Expungement of Criminal Records. The person wishing to have their adult convictions expunged must petition the court with jurisdiction over such records, and the court must send a certified order to the agency having control over the records (often the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository for Criminal History Information).

PA Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 722 states:

Every order of Expungement shall include: [not intended to be an exhaustive list]

1) the defendant’s name, date of birth and Social Security Number;
2) the OTN;
3) the district justice docket number and the magisterial district number, or the Municipal Court docket number;
4) the Court of Common Pleas docket number, if any;
5) the specific charges to be expunged, as they appear on the charging document;
6) the date of arrest or summons and the criminal justice agency that made the arrest;
7) the disposition;
8) the reason for expungement, including acquittal, successful completion of ARD, or age;
9) the criminal justice agencies upon which certified copies shall be served.

Expungement of records under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 320 is automatic as a matter of law, following the successful completion of ARD requirements. When the judge orders the dismissal of the original charges against the defendant, the judge should also order the expungement of the defendant’s arrest record.

18 PaCS §9102 deals with the records and documents that are NOT subject to Expungement.

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