Criminal Record Expungement

A criminal record can hamper your ability to find housing and employment. At the Law Offices of V. Erik Petersen, I encourage my clients to apply for a record expungement whenever possible. Not everyone’s criminal record is eligible for expungement. At the same time, many people are walking around with expungeable offenses on their record. If you would like to find out whether your record can be expunged, contact me, attorney V. Erik Petersen, for a free consultation.

When is a criminal record eligible for expungement?

In Pennsylvania, the criteria for eligibility are narrow. A criminal record may be eligible for expungement if:

  • The verdict at trial was “not guilty.” For instance, if a person was charged with rape and simple assault, but convicted of simple assault only, the rape charge may be eligible for expungement.
  • The charges were dropped or dismissed. This is important because prospective employers and landlords often do not read far enough on a criminal record to see the words “charge dismissed.” An expungement would take care of that problem.
  • The offender successfully completed ARD. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) is an alternative to usual sentencing procedures. It is usually only available to first time offenders. You do not go to jail. As long as you follow your probation instructions, you can have the offense expunged.
  • The crime was a juvenile crime, committed by the offender when he or she was a minor.
  • The governor pardons the offender.
  • The offender is 70 or older, and has had no criminal arrests for ten years.
  • The offender is deceased.

Again, if you or a family member fits one of the above criteria, call me, attorney V. Erik Petersen. Get an accurate assessment of your record from an experienced defense lawyer located in Harleysville, Pennsylvania.