As you may have previously read, Pennsylvania looks read to change the law on expungements. We get more questions about “what is eligible to be expunged?” then any other question. Recently, I wrote about a Senate Bill that would change the law on expungements in Pennsylvania. Apparently, there is a House Bill that was actually passed that the governor would sign into law if passed by the Senate. This bill is a bit different to me in that it creates a new class of expungements, but still, you will be able to get a host of new things expunged.
Basically, the new class allows for the expungement of the record, but simultaneously does not mandate the destruction of the files, finger prints, photos, records, etc. The new class does limit how the government can use the “saved” documents, but of course, this raises all eyebrows. However, this is still an expungement and will help people in finding jobs. I think it is a good compromise that will help a lot of good people.
I have attached a copy of the bill that passed for your reading:
No. 1543 Session of 2007
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, further providing for expungement of criminal history record.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 9122(b) and (b.1) of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:
SECTION 1. SECTION 9122(B), (B.1), (C), (D), (E) AND (F) OF TITLE 18 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES ARE AMENDED AND THE SECTION IS AMENDED BY ADDING A SUBSECTION TO READ:
§ 9122. Expungement.
(b) Generally.–Criminal history record information may be expunged when:
(1) [an] An individual who is the subject of the information reaches 70 years of age and has been free of arrest or prosecution for ten years following final release from confinement or supervision[; or].
(2) [an] An individual who is the subject of the information has been dead for three years.
(3) (i) An individual who is the subject of the information petitions for expungement of the information following final release from confinement or supervision for the greater of the following time periods:
(A) In the case of a summary offense, five years.
(B) In the case of a misdemeanor of the third degree, seven years.
(C) In the case of a misdemeanor of the second degree, ten years.
(ii) This paragraph shall not apply to any individual who has been convicted of:
(A) An offense punishable by imprisonment of more than two years.
(B) Four or more offenses punishable by imprisonment of one or more years.
(C) A violation of section 2701 (relating to simple assault).
(D) An offense classified as a misdemeanor of the second degree committed when the individual was at least 25 years of age.
(E) A violation of section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).
(F) A violation of section 3129 (relating to sexual intercourse with animal).
(G) A violation of section 5511 (relating to cruelty to animals).
(H) A violation of any provision of Chapter 61 (relating to firearms and other dangerous articles).
(I) A VIOLATION OF AN OFFENSE FOR WHICH REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED UNDER 42 PA.C.S. § 9795.1 (RELATING TO REGISTRATION).
(III) EXPUNGMENT SHALL BE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE COURT. IN CONSIDERING WHETHER TO GRANT THE PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT, THE COURT SHALL CONSIDER ALL RELEVANT FACTORS, INCLUDING ANY REASONS THE COMMONWEALTH MAY GIVE FOR WISHING TO RETAIN THE RECORDS; THE PETITIONER’S AGE, CRIMINAL RECORD AND EMPLOYMENT HISTORY; THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT HAS ELAPSED BETWEEN THE ARREST AND THE PETITION TO EXPUNGE; AND THE SPECIFIC ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES THE PETITIONER MAY ENDURE SHOULD EXPUNCTION BE DENIED.
(b.1) Prohibition.–A court shall not have the authority to order expungement of the defendant’s arrest record where the defendant was placed on Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for a violation of any offense set forth in any of the following where the victim is under 18 years of age:
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).
(C) MAINTENANCE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION REQUIRED OR AUTHORIZED.–NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER, THE FOLLOWING APPLY:
(1) THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY AND THE CENTRAL REPOSITORY SHALL, AND THE COURT MAY, MAINTAIN A LIST OF THE NAMES AND OTHER CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION OF PERSONS WHOSE RECORDS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW OR COURT RULE TO BE EXPUNGED WHERE THE INDIVIDUAL HAS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE CONDITIONS OF ANY PRETRIAL OR POST-TRIAL DIVERSION OR PROBATION PROGRAM. SUCH INFORMATION SHALL BE USED SOLELY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING SUBSEQUENT ELIGIBILITY FOR SUCH PROGRAMS AND FOR IDENTIFYING PERSONS IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS. CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION MAY BE EXPUNGED AS PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (B)(1) AND (2). [SUCH INFORMATION]
(2) THE CENTRAL REPOSITORY SHALL MAINTAIN THE NAME, IDENTIFYING INFORMATION, FINGERPRINTS AND OFFENSE RECORD OF A PERSON WHOSE RECORDS ARE EXPUNGED UNDER SUBSECTION(B)(3). INFORMATION UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE USED IN CONSIDERATION FOR A PARDON AND SHALL BE ADMISSIBLE IN COURT SOLELY FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES:
(I) GRADING A SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE WHICH IS DEPENDENT UPON A PRIOR CONVICTION.
(II) SENTENCING FOR A SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE IF A PRIOR CONVICTION MIGHT RESULT IN A PRIOR RECORD SCORE UNDER 204 PA. CODE CH. 303 (RELATING TO SENTENCING GUIDELINES)
(III) IDENTIFYING A PERSON IN A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.
(IV) ELIGIBILITY FOR A PRETRIAL OR POST-TRIAL DIVERSION OR PROBATION PROGRAM.
(3) INFORMATION UNDER THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ANY COURT OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY UPON REQUEST INDICATING THE PURPOSE FOR USE.
(D) NOTICE OF EXPUNGEMENT.–[NOTICE OF EXPUNGEMENT SHALL PROMPTLY BE SUBMITTED TO THE CENTRAL RESPOSITORY WHICH SHALL NOTIFY ALL CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCIES WHICH HAVE RECEIVED THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION TO BE EXPUNGED.]
(1) A COURT’S EXPUNGEMENT ORDER SHALL DIRECT THE APPROPRIATE REPOSITORIES OF CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION TO DO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
(I) EXPUNGE AND DESTROY THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION.
(II) REQUEST THAT A FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL AGENCY TO WHICH THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION HAS BEEN MADE AVAILABLE RETURN THE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION IF POSSIBLE.
(III) DESTROY CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION RETURNED UNDER SUBPARAGRAPH (II).
(IV) FILE WITH THE COURT, WITHIN 30 DAYS, THE EXPUNGEMENT ORDER AND AN AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE EXPUNGEMENT ORDER. NO COPY OF THE EXPUNGEMENT ORDER OR THE AFFIDAVIT MAY BE RETAINED BY THE REPOSITORY.
(2) UPON RECEIPT OF THE AFFIDAVIT UNDER PARAGRAPH
(1)(IV), THE COURT SHALL SEAL THE EXPUNGEMENT ORDER AND THE AFFIDAVIT. EXCEPT FOR ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SUBSECTION, A DOCUMENT SEALED UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY NOT BE EXAMINED BY ANY PERSON OR AGENCY.
(E) PUBLIC RECORDS.–[PUBLIC]
(1) EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (2), PUBLIC RECORDS LISTED IN SECTION 9104(A) (RELATING TO SCOPE) SHALL NOT BE EXPUNGED.
(2) PARAGRAPH (1) DOES NOT APPLY TO A DOCUMENT LISTED IN SECTION 9104(A)(2). THIS PARAGRAPH INCLUDES A COURT DOCKET.
(F) DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S NOTICE.–THE COURT SHALL GIVE [TEN] 20 DAYS PRIOR NOTICE TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY WHERE THE ORIGINAL CHARGE WAS FILED OF ANY APPLICATIONS FOR EXPUNGEMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SUBSECTION (A)(2) OR (B)(3).
(1) EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (C) OR (D)(2), AN EXPUNGED RECORD OF ARREST, PROSECUTION OR CONVICTION SHALL NOT BE REGARDED AS AN ARREST, PROSECUTION OR CONVICTION FOR A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PURPOSE. THIS PARAGRAPH INCLUDES THE PURPOSE OF ANY STATUTE, REGULATION, LICENSE, QUESTIONNAIRE, EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION OR CIVIL OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDING.
(2) A PERSON MAY NOT KNOWINGLY DISCLOSE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD INFORMATION WHICH IS SUBJECT TO AN EXPUNGEMENT ORDER. A PERSON THAT VIOLATES THIS PARAGRAPH COMMITS A SUMMARY OFFENSE.