Process for Expunging Juvenile Criminal Records in Pennsylvania
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The process for expunging juvenile criminal records in Pennsylvania varies from county to county. In general, Juvenile Court Procedural Rules require requests for expungement to be filed as a motion in the form of a proposed court order. The proposed court order must contain the following:
- The juvenile's name.
- The juvenile's date of birth. If the birth date is unknown, social security may be used for identification purposes.
- The juvenile's case docket number
- The charges the juvenile is seeking to have expunged. If all charges are from a single adjudication, one motion is enough. However, if the juvenile has several adjudications, then each adjudication needs a separate expungement motion. If there are multiple charges, only the specific charges listed in the petition will be expunged. If several charges are dismissed and only one results in adjudication, records of the dismissed charges will remain even if the petition for expungement on the adjudicated charge is granted.
- Any or all law enforcement agenc(ies)y that initiated the allegations.
- The reference number of the police report or written allegations to be expunged
- Date of arrest.
- Final disposition of the written allegation or petition
- Reasons and statutory authority for expunging or destroying the records. The motion must provide authority, strictly using the rules from 18 Pa.C.S. § 9123(a)(4), to demonstrate the record should be expunged.
- Interested agencies must be served with certified copies of the proposed court order. The agencies listed in the motion must be specific. A general list of agencies may inadequately cover records of juvenile adjudication and disposition. Agencies that might be included in a motion to expunge are: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, County District Attorn(ies), County Children and Youth Services, County Juvenile Probation, Clerk of Courts (in one or more counties), County or township Police Departments, and the Pennsylvania State Police Central Repository.
Because of the complexity involved, people usually hire an attorney for this process. Once the motion is properly prepared and served, with notice provided to the district attorney, a hearing is held in which the court will grant or deny the petition.
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