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Politics & Government

Criminal Expungement Law Passes PA Senate

A measure that would help some convicted criminals clear their record has been passed by the Pennsylvania Senate and is on its way to the House.

Senate Bill 391 would allow individuals who were convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor of the third or second degree and have not been arrested or prosecuted for seven to ten years following the completion of their sentence to have their record expunged. 

Bill sponsor Tim Solobay was quick to point out that the law would not apply to offenses punishable by more than one year in prison or crimes that involve assault, sex offenses, cruelty to animals, firearms offenses, and certain other crimes.

“This is an opportunity to help folks who made some minor infraction years ago, have been great citizens since then, and now are trying to clear their record so that they can improve their employability status,” Solobay said.

Under current law, the crimes cannot be expunged until after the offender reaches the age of 70, or has been deceased for more than three years.  

A court and the local district attorney must review all expungement requests before the record would be cleared under the proposed law.