Can a DUI Be Expunged In Pennsylvania?

Expungement is a legal process to remove an arrest or a criminal conviction from a person’s criminal history.  If a person is granted an expungement, a court order will be entered, and all criminal justice agencies will remove the arrest and/or conviction from their records.  Having a criminal record properly expunged removes the arrest/conviction from public records, court dockets, police records, etc. with the expectation that it will not show up if an employer, landlord or school performs a criminal background check during the hiring or application process.


Not all guilty pleas and convictions are eligible for expungement.  In fact, Pennsylvania law limits expungement eligibility to limited situations. Under 18 Pa. C. S. § 9122, a criminal record history may be expunged if one of the following conditions are met:

  • You were charged with a first offense DUI and you successfully completed the ARD program;
  • you are over 70 years old and free of arrest/prosecution for 10 years since the prior release from supervision;
  • you have been deceased for 3 years; or
  • you petition the court for the expungement of a summary offense and you have been free of arrest or prosecution for 5 years following the conviction for the prior offense.


When an expungement is completed, the records are not erased entirely.  There are a few, very limited scenarios in which criminal records may be used.  The District Attorney’s office and the central repository may maintain a list of the names and other criminal history record information of persons whose records are required to be expunged.  However, this information is not available to the general public and it is only to be used for the purposes of determining subsequent eligibility for an ARD program, identifying individuals in subsequent criminal investigations or determining the grading of subsequent offenses.  Otherwise, your expunged criminal history will not be available.


Anyone who meets the expungement eligibility requirements should hire an expungement attorney for help in the expungement process.  The attorney will prepare a Petition, Joinder, and Order that must be approved by the District Attorney’s office and the Judge.  Once approved by the Judge, the Judge will sign the Expungement Order.  The signed Order is served on the governmental agencies that have records of the arrest and/or conviction and the Order requires those agencies to erase the records.  An expungement attorney can make sure that the Petition and Order comply with Pennsylvania law, the signed Order is served on all the agencies, and the agencies respond with written confirmation that the records are expunged.  The process for expungement usually takes a few months. 


The expungement process is not a difficult process.  Having a clean record can greatly impact future opportunities.  The attorneys at The Martin Law Firm, P.C. routinely help individuals looking for a job, entering a trade, or pursuing higher education with expungements.  If you are looking to have your criminal records expunged, contact us today for a free case evaluation at 215-646-3980.

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