What is Expungement?
An expungement is a legal order from a Judge that requires the prosecutors/district attorneys, state police, local police, and other state criminal justice agencies to ERASE something from a record.
An expungement can be for an entire arrest, or for individual charges from an arrest; and it can be for a conviction under certain limited conditions, such as being over 70 years of age and arrest-free for 10 years. In Pennsylvania, arrests can no longer be seen on the public website, but they are available to police, prosecutors, and organizations using the FBI records check as part of background investigations.
For a more detailed overview of understanding criminal records and expungement eligibility in Pennsylvania, visit our Self Help page.
The Criminal Record Expungement Project (“C-REP”) represents low-income individuals through the expungement process.
PLSE identifies clients by conducting community-based record clearing clincis across Philadelphia. These community clincis help PLSE understand the unique challenges encoutered by those with criminal records, informs our strategic litigation and also provides opportunities to build relationships across diverse communities. If you are interested in hosting a clinic in your neighborhood, please contact PLSE Program Director Patrick Keough at email@example.com.
Clinics are staffed by PLSE employees as well as volunteers, primarily law students, through our partnerships with the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School and Drexel’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Following completion of an intake, petitions for expungement are reviewed, filed, and argued by PLSE attorneys. To date, PLSE has thousands of expungement petitions in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Over 95% of the petitions PLSE have filed have been granted.