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Expungement Update II — Summary Offenses

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I believe the expungement law will change based on House Bill 1543 as amended October 6, 2008. I do not have the official text, but I have put together what I believe will be the text. I did some cut and paste work to the Bill.

Summary convictions will be expungeable after a 5 year waiting period and the DA can object.

I do think this will create a new category of expungements different from anything else we currently have. I do not believe a Magisterial Judicial District Judge or a Municipal Court Judge could grant an expungement under the new law.

My inclination is to say that if a person was convicted of a summary offense and was never offered ARD because it was too trivial of a matter, most judges and DAs will allow the expungement with no arguement. This is just a GUESS. Also, I still do not know whether the state police will be forced to destroy the record on this new class.

Also as previously noted in a past article, flashers who exposed themselves to people under 18, that got ARD will no longer eligible for expungement.

The text is as follows:

“Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, further providing for expungement of criminal history record and for juvenile records.

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hereby enacts as follows:
SECTION 1. SECTION 9122(B), (B.1) AND (C) OF TITLE 18 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA CONSOLIDATED STATUTES ARE AMENDED TO READ:
ยง 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 THE COURT FOR THE EXPUNGEMENT OF A SUMMARY OFFENSE AND HAS BEEN FREE OF ARREST OR PROSECUTION FOR FIVE YEARS FOLLOWING THE CONVICTION FOR
THAT OFFENSE.
(II) EXPUNGEMENT UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL ONLY BE PERMITTED FOR A CONVICTION OF A SUMMARY OFFENSE.
(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 PROSECUTING ATTORNEY AND THE CENTRAL REPOSITORY

2 Comments on Expungement Update II — Summary Offenses

  1. Based on your research of the legislative history behind this sea-change in the law of expungement, do you have an opinion as to WHY the legislature has made these changes? This has been in the works for a while now, right?

  2. As you know, we do a lot of work with the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons. The time lag in the pardon process in Pennsylvania has become grotesque. Sometimes, the entire process from start to finish can take up to 4 years until the crime is actually removed from one’s record. The delay until you get to the Board of Pardons for the hearing can be up to 2 to 2 1/2 years.

    From my reading and talking to folks in the know, the Board of Pardons wanted to bring the time frame for turnaround on the initial applications down and they felt as though some of the cases they had were trivial and they didn’t want the burden.

    Previous drafts of the bill had far more items eligible for expungement, so I am disappointed in the new law. I guess its better than nothing.

    I do think this new law will cut the time down by many months. The original version would have cut it down by years.

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