Expunction / Sealed Records

Expungement is an action used to delete all police and court records pertaining to a criminal case when any of the following has occurred:

  • Acquittal
  • Nolle prosequi
  • Dismissal (excluding delayed imposition dismissal)
  • Absolute pardon
  • Individual's name used in error

When a record is expunged it is not destroyed but removed from public access and sealed.

Filing and Hearing Requirements

To request expungement of eligible records, you must file a petition with the court in the city or county where you case was handled. You will need copies of the petition for additional offices:

  • The attorney for the Commonwealth of the same city or county

  • The law enforcement agency where you must get a full set of your fingerprints taken

  • The attorney has the option to object to your petition. Your fingerprints are used to get a copy of your criminal history for the court.

Once the court has all the information it needs, it will hold a hearing to determine if keeping the records creates a "manifest injustice" to you. If yes, it will grant your request.

The standard is different for a single misdemeanor when you have no other record. In this case, you are entitled to expungement unless there is a good reason to deny the petition.