Effective November 2016
Governor Wolf recently signed Act 5 into law, which is commonly called a new expungement law. However, Act 5 does not expand expungement laws in Pennsylvania. Act 5 creates a new form of relief in Pennsylvania called an order for limited access. A limited access order, like the name suggests, allows people to remove certain Pennsylvania misdemeanor convictions from public view, without destroying the conviction or related information. This legislation is intended to limit access of eligible low level misdemeanors convictions to only State licencing and law enforcement agencies. These agencies may still consider and base adverse decisions by relying upon convictions. Although Act 5 does not address the underlying prejudice and discrimination of people with criminal convictions, Act 5 does provide relief for some individuals who have a limited access order granted by greatly reducing accessibility of convictions.
Most importantly, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, (“AOPC”), will disable public access via it’s website to convictions subject to a limited access order.
Eligibility for a limited access order is highly individualized and it is recommended that you consult with an Attorney to determine if you are eligible. The below chart is for educational purposes only.