If you were convicted of a simple assault a number of years ago, you might be contemplating having your record expunged. Many defendants are convicted of this crime due to a simple misunderstanding and now have to live with the stigma of a criminal record. Fortunately, it may be possible to have your criminal record expunged depending on the circumstances of your case. If you or a family member is interested in having a record expunged, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia assault defense lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, we understand the difficulty of living with a criminal record, and we are here to guide you through the expungement process. Criminal defense lawyer Lloyd Long explains how to expunge a simple assault from your criminal record.
Qualifications for Having a Criminal Record Expunged
In Pennsylvania, there are various requirements for having a criminal record expunged. However, many of these requirements can pose a problem for people that have a record that may be affecting their career or other areas of their life. For example, you can have your criminal history expunged if you are at least 70 years old and you have not been arrested or prosecuted in the past 10 years. Additionally, the 10-year period only begins to run after you are free from prison or probation, which could be years. This is not beneficial for a young individual who needs to have their record expunged to apply for a new job or to obtain housing.
The second way to have a record expunged is to be deceased for at least three years. While this procedure may be valuable to the family of the decedent, it will not benefit the decedent directly.
The third way to get your record expunged is to avoid being arrested or prosecuted for five years after being convicted of the crime. Unfortunately, this provision can only be used to expunge records relating to a summary offense. Summary offenses are typically nonviolent crimes. A simple assault does not fit within the parameters of this expungement rule because a defendant can receive up to a year in prison for being convicted of a simple assault.
However, there may be a way to have your record expunged depending on the circumstances of your conviction. To learn more about how to expunge a simple assault misdemeanor, you should continue reading and consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.
Pennsylvania’s New Expungement Law
In 2018, Pennsylvania passed Senate Bill 391, which increases the type of misdemeanor offenses that a person can have wiped from their record. While the primary purpose of this law is to expunge the criminal records of defendants convicted of second and third degree misdemeanors, there is an exception that allows a violent offense to be expunged.
The exception allows simple assault misdemeanors of the third degree to be removed from a person’s record. A simple assault would qualify as a third degree misdemeanor if the defendant were involved in a mutual fight. This means that the defendant engaged in a fight with another willing participant.
It is important to note that the requirements for expunging a simple assault are stricter than Pennsylvania’s typical expungement laws. For example, you can only request that the court seals your record after you free from arrest or conviction for at least 10 years.
Having your record sealed and having your record expunged are two different processes. If your record is expunged, you do not have to worry about a potential employer or certain law enforcement officers pulling up information about your conviction. If your record is sealed, law enforcement officials will still be able to access it. However, a sealed record will make it very difficult for an employer and the general public to access your criminal history.
Additionally, if you were convicted of second degree misdemeanor simple assault, that will remain on your record forever unless you receive a pardon from Pennsylvania’s governor. You should also know that you cannot have a criminal record expunged for sex-related criminal offenses.
Contact a Philadelphia Record Expungement Lawyer Today
If you or a family member was convicted of a simple assault and want to get that record expunged, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer today. Record expungement attorney Lloyd Long has years of experience helping residents of Pennsylvania obtain a clean criminal record. Our firm will provide you with the unique legal representation necessary to handle your case. We avoid handling a high volume of cases so that we can ensure that every client gets the attention they deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 525-6818.