Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
A criminal record can be a heavy burden to carry – especially when you are graduating from Penn State. At a time when you could be forging professional connections and exploring invaluable work, internship, and volunteer opportunities, a criminal record can hold you back and deprive you of the chance to start developing your career in earnest. An arrest record or criminal record can also create obstacles when you are applying for housing in the future.
Fortunately, there may be ways to obtain an expungement, giving yourself the clean slate you deserve. With an expungement, the record of your arrest or conviction may be sealed, making it easier to turn a new page at this crucial chapter in your life. However, this process can be complicated and rife with obstacles. You need help from an experienced criminal record expungements lawyer for Penn State students, like Andrew Shubin. At The Law Office of Andrew Shubin, students receive quality legal representation driven by a passion for justice. To set up a free legal consultation, contact us online, or call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586 today.
What is the Difference Between an Expungement and a Pardon?
A Pennsylvania expungement for college students has the effect of sealing an arrest record or conviction record, meaning the information generally cannot be accessed by members of the general public. However, that does not necessarily mean the record will be completely and permanently destroyed. For example, law enforcement agencies, judges, and prosecutors will retain the ability to review your record, which will be taken into consideration if you are ever arrested or charged with another crime in the future.
In rare cases, an individual who does not qualify for an expungement may be able to obtain a pardon. However, pardons are uncommon, and are only granted under narrow circumstances. Pardons may be granted only by the governor of Pennsylvania, currently Tom Wolf, and only following a rigorous, years-long application process.
What is the 2019 Clean Slate Bill?
In June 2019, a new Pennsylvania law called the “Clean Slate Bill” will take effect. When this occurs, certain summary offenses and misdemeanor offenses will automatically be sealed, or automatically gain eligibility to be sealed. Before the law takes effect, college students – and other Pennsylvanians who are hoping to expunge a misdemeanor record or summary offense – are encouraged to consult with an expungements attorney about how the Clean Slate Bill works, and how they may be affected.
What Crimes Are Eligible for Expungement in Pennsylvania?
Several types of offenses or records may qualify for expungement under Pennsylvania law, including the following:
- Certain summary offenses. Summary offenses, also referred to as “non-traffic citations,” are low-tier offenses that include loitering and disorderly conduct. Summary offenses are less serious than misdemeanors or felonies, but can still cause trouble if they appear on your record. Summary offenses are not eligible for expungement until at least five years have passed, which means recent arrests or convictions cannot be wiped off your record.
- Certain underage drinking offenses. Underage drinking offenses are ineligible for expulsion until you are at least 21 years old and have successfully completed and complied with court orders related to the conviction.
Expunging a Record of Underage Drinking
It may be possible for a college student in Pennsylvania to expunge an underage drinking offense, provided certain criteria are met. These criteria are that:
- He or she has finished serving his or her jail sentence.
- He or she has paid all court-ordered fines and victim restitution.
- He or she has successfully completed the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which is offered in various counties across Pennsylvania. The ARD program gives offenders the opportunity to avoid jail time, depending on their compliance with program rules.
- He or she is now 21 years of age or older, regardless of age at the time of the offense.
- The charges against the student were dismissed.
- The offense involved one of the following violations:
- Consuming alcohol while under the legal drinking age
- Purchasing alcohol while under the legal drinking age
- Underage possession of alcohol
- The student was not charged with any other crimes.
Criminal Record Expungement Attorney for Penn State College Students
Don’t let a criminal record derail your future. If you were arrested or charged with a crime in the past, you may be eligible to expunge your record under state law.
A clean record could make the difference between missing opportunities and achieving your dreams. Make sure you understand – and exercise – your legal rights. Talk about expunging your record with an experienced criminal attorney for Penn State students. For a free legal consultation, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586, or contact us online.