West Chester Expungement Attorney

A criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life. It could prevent you from getting the job you want, securing housing, furthering your education, or obtaining custody of your children. However, you may be able to regain control of your future by expunging your criminal record in West Chester, PA. DiCindio Law, LLC can help.

Attorney Mike DiCindio has over a decade of experience in criminal law. He uses his insight as a former prosecutor and his legal skills to stand up for the accused in southeastern Pennsylvania. 

You aren’t just another case to us. We care about your future. Our West Chester expungement attorney will do everything possible to have your charges expunged so you can move forward with a clean criminal record.

Contact or call DiCindio Law, LLC at (610) 430-3535 today to schedule a free consultation with an expungement lawyer in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

How DiCindio Law, LLC Can Help You Expunge Your Criminal Record in West Chester, PA 

How DiCindio Law, LLC Can Help You Expunge Your Criminal Record in West Chester, PA 

Navigating the expungement process in Pennsylvania can be confusing and frustrating. Different rules may apply depending on the facts of your case. You need an attorney with a thorough understanding of the criminal justice system and expungement laws.

Attorney Mike DiCindio is a top-rated West Chester criminal defense lawyer and a fierce defender of his clients’ rights. He understands how prosecutors work and can use that knowledge to your advantage. 

At DiCindio Law, LLC, we have achieved top ratings and acknowledgments from leading legal organizations, including Super Lawyers, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the American Institute of Criminal Lawyers. 

When you hire our West Chester expungement lawyer, you can trust that we will:

  • Explain the expungement process to you
  • Gather your criminal records to learn more about your history
  • Review your record to determine whether your criminal conviction is eligible for expungement
  • Prepare all paperwork and file it with the court to begin the expungement process
  • Advocate for you in court and argue that you deserve to have your criminal conviction expunged

You deserve to be treated with dignity regardless of your criminal record. At DiCindio Law, LLC, we’ll treat you with the respect you deserve. 

Let us help you expunge your criminal conviction. Call our law office to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced expungement attorney in West Chester, PA.

What Is Expungement in Pennsylvania?

Moving past poor decisions and mistakes can be difficult when you have a criminal record. Your mistakes follow you forever. However, expungement can change that. 

Through the expungement process, you can wipe the slate clean. When your criminal conviction is expunged, you can answer “no” to questions about whether you have been convicted of a crime. That can make a significant difference when completing job applications, applying for student aid, or applying for housing.

Expungement aims to give someone who has stayed out of trouble since their conviction a fresh start. It erases their past mistakes to allow them to move forward without a visible criminal record.

Does My Criminal Conviction Qualify for Expungement Under Pennsylvania Law?

Not all criminal convictions qualify for expungement in Pennsylvania. You must meet the requirements of 18 Pa.C.S. §9122 to have your criminal record expunged.

Your criminal record might qualify for expungement if:

  • The court dismissed your criminal charges for lack of evidence or prosecution 
  • You were found not guilty by a judge or jury
  • You successfully finished the ARD program by completing pre-trial probation, paying fines, court costs, and restitution, and satisfying all terms and conditions of the program
  • You are 70 years old or older and have not been arrested in the past ten years
  • Your offense is a summary offense, and you have not been arrested or convicted in the past five years since your date of conviction
  • The repository did not receive or record a disposition within 18 months
  • The court has ordered expungement
  • You are 21 years old or older, have not been convicted of the illegal transport or sale of alcohol, and have completed all terms of your sentence 

There could be other situations where the court might grant an expungement. The first step is to meet with an experienced lawyer to review your criminal record and determine if your charges are eligible for expungement.

How Does the Expungement Process Work in West Chester, PA?

Before filing an expungement petition, we must obtain a copy of your criminal history. The petition for expungement must contain specific information about your criminal conviction. Information from your criminal record needed to complete the petition includes your name, date of birth, the offenses you seek to expunge, the docket number/offense tracking number, and the case disposition.

If you file a petition without the required information, the court can dismiss it. You must also attach a copy of your criminal record to your petition for expungement.

If the District Attorney objects to your petition, the court will schedule a contested expungement hearing. At the hearing, the judge hears evidence from both sides and considers several factors to determine whether to expunge your criminal record. 

Factors the court might consider include:

  • Your prior criminal history
  • The potential damage to your reputation that your criminal record could cause
  • The public interest in maintaining access to your criminal record 
  • The nature and gravity of the offenses you want to expunge
  • The effect of having a criminal record on your ability to earn a living 

Some criminal offenses are ineligible for expungement under any circumstances. Certain sex crimes and crimes against someone under 18 years old are not eligible for expungement.

What Happens to My Criminal Record if I Am Granted an Expungement?

The court will issue an Order for Expungement listing the criminal records to be expunged. Certified copies of the order are sent to all agencies that have your criminal record, including law enforcement, government agencies, and courts. The agencies are listed in the court’s order.

An agency must destroy all documents and electronic data relating to your case when it receives the expungement order. Then, the agencies must send your attorney a notice verifying that they complied with the expungement order. Under most circumstances, the expungement process can take four to six months. 

How Is Expungement Different From Limited Access to Criminal Records?

Pennsylvania passed a law in 2016 that limits access to some convictions for summary offenses. If you are granted limited access, members of the public, employers, and landlords cannot obtain information about your summary offense conviction.

Limited access does not expunge or remove the conviction from your criminal record. However, it seals the summary offense conviction so that only state licensing authorities and law enforcement can access the records. 

The criteria for obtaining limited access status include:

  • You must complete all penalties and court-ordered obligations of your sentence
  • You must file a petition with the court requesting limited access
  • You must not have been arrested or prosecuted for a crime during the past ten years

First-degree misdemeanors and most felonies are ineligible for limited access. 

Crimes that do not qualify for limited access include:

  • Crimes that are punished by more than two years imprisonment
  • Simple assault convictions not charged as a third-degree misdemeanor 
  • Four or more offenses that each result in one year of imprisonment 
  • Any sex crimes that require you to register with the sex offender registry
  • Intimidating or retaliating against a victim or witness of a crime
  • Crimes under 18 Pa.C.S. §4958 that relate to child abuse cases
  • Impersonating a public servant

Judges often consider the same factors in a limited access petition as they do when deciding expungement petitions. Therefore, having an experienced expungement lawyer handle your petition for limited access benefits you.

What Are the Benefits of Expungement in West Chester, PA?

Having your criminal record wiped clean has many advantages. 

Some of the benefits of an expungement include:

  • It eliminates the negative impact of a criminal record on family court cases, including child custody and adoption proceedings
  • It restores your privacy and reputation 
  • It removes the criminal conviction from background and employment searches
  • It increases the chance you can obtain a professional license or certification
  • You may qualify to have your gun rights restored
  • It expands your options for a job, which can increase your earning capacity
  • It removes the impact of a criminal record on housing opportunities
  • You might qualify to get into college and/or obtain student aid

Having your criminal record expunged can provide peace of mind and remove a burden you have lived with for some time. However, the process can be daunting if you try to do it alone. The good news is that you can have an experienced West Chester criminal defense attorney handle the entire process for you. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our West Chester Expungement Lawyer 

Your past does not define you or your future. We proudly offer big firm results while providing our clients with small firm attention. Talk with our West Chester expungement attorney today to learn why we are different from the other criminal defense law firms in the area.