Is It Possible to Get My Record Sealed?
Dec. 29, 2022
Recent statistics indicate that about 77 million Americans have a criminal record. That means approximately 1 in 5 people have a record!
Unfortunately, a criminal or arrest record can have immediate and life-long implications on many aspects of your life, career, and future. In Pennsylvania, you may be able to either seal your criminal record by seeking an order for limited access or expungement.
At The Law Offices of John Della Rocca, I'm committed to offering trusted legal guidance and representation to clients in the legal matters of record sealing and expungement. As a practiced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, I can educate you about the benefits of getting your record sealed, determine your eligibility, and guide you through the legal processes involved. The Law Offices of John Della Rocca proudly serves clients across Philadelphia, Chester County, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
How Does Record Sealing Differ From Expungement?
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, record sealing and expungement are among the available options to remove a criminal arrest, conviction, or record. They are distinct processes.
Record sealing is a petition filed to have a criminal or arrest record sealed from your public records. This is a “Limited Access Expungement.” In record sealing, the criminal record still exists but it isn't publicly accessible. Only certain law enforcement personnel can access the record. If granted, the Court will issue an "Order for Limited Access."
Conversely, expungement involves a court-ordered process in which a person's criminal arrest, conviction, or record is completely and permanently removed from their public record. If your expungement petition is approved, your criminal record will be fully destroyed or eliminated from government databases.
Who Can Request to Have Their Records Sealed?
In Pennsylvania, you may be able to have your record sealed if you meet the following requirements:
You have had no new arrest, criminal proceedings, or conviction over the past ten years.
The criminal arrest or record in question is for an ungraded, second-, or third-degree misdemeanor.
You have never been convicted of a serious misdemeanor or felony.
You have less than four misdemeanor convictions.
You have paid the court fees associated with your conviction.
You have fulfilled the sentencing requirements associated with your conviction, including court-mandated programs and fines.
An experienced Pennsylvania record sealing attorney can review the surrounding facts of your case, determine whether you're eligible, and enlighten you about the legal steps involved in getting your criminal record sealed.
What Does the Process Entail?
Here are the steps involved in Pennsylvania record sealing:
Determine your eligibility for record sealing.
Gather all the information you need for the record-sealing petition.
File the Order for Limited Access petition in the local court where the conviction occurred. Provide the supporting documentation.
Respond to the oral or written opposition from the district attorney.
Attend a court hearing.
However, the record-sealing process in Pennsylvania can be quite complicated. Therefore, it is important that you hire a reliable attorney to guide you through the legal steps involved, eliminate the stress, and increase your chances of the most favorable outcome.
Why Should You Seal Your Records?
Essentially, arrest and criminal records are public records. Your potential employers, colleges, landlords, and other individuals will be able to seek these records during a background check. Unfortunately, this can bring about increased difficulties in getting a job, housing, public benefits, and professional opportunities.
However, by sealing your records, the criminal or arrest record will not be accessible to the general public. Record sealing will make sure that your personal, professional, and future opportunities are not limited. Also, you may be able to deny that the arrest or crime ever happened. This may be the right way to get back on your feet and achieve a brighter tomorrow.
Skilled Advocacy at Every Stage
Having a criminal arrest, conviction, or record can make it challenging for you to get a scholarship, loan, job, employment opportunities, and government assistance. However, sealing your criminal record helps ensure that it isn't publicly accessible. At The Law Offices of John Della Rocca, I have devoted my career to guiding clients through the complex procedures involved in record sealing and expungement.
As your attorney, I can evaluate the facts of your case, determine whether you are eligible, and craft an effective strategy for your unique circumstances. In addition, I will help file your petition and represent you diligently in every phase of the legal process. I will dedicate every available resource at my disposal to have your criminal record sealed or expunged and help you achieve the clean slate you deserve.
Contact my firm – The Law Offices of John Della Rocca – today to schedule a simple case assessment with a reliable record sealing attorney. I can offer you the dedicated legal assistance and personalized advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions in your case. My firm proudly serves clients across Philadelphia, Chester County, Montgomery County, Chester County, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania, as well as communities throughout New Jersey.