What is the Clean Slate Bill in PA?
Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed The Clean Slate Bill on June 28, 2018.
‘Clean Slate’ allows minor, non-violent cases to be automatically sealed from public view after time has passed without conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor.
After two years, in 2020, the bill provides for immediate and automatic sealing of:
- arrests without convictions,
- summary convictions after 5 years, and
- smaller misdemeanor convictions after 10 years.
The sealing is to be done by computers without cost to the individual.
People who want their cases sealed before that can file a petition under the new law after December 28, 2018. Meanwhile, eligible cases can still be sealed or expunged under the existing statutes.
A Few Notes About the Clean Slate Bill
The Bill provides for ‘limited access’, meaning it does NOT have to be disclosed to an employer, landlord, school, etc… And, these institutions will NOT be able to see the sealed charges.
However, Law Enforcement and Licensing Agencies will continue to have access to these records unless they are expunged or pardoned.
The new law seems to suggest that even ARDs (which is probation without conviction on a DUI charge) would be sealed, even though it is completely expungable.
Additional Problems for Those with Criminal Records
For those with criminal records, there may still be a few additional problems, including the following:
- You may not know whether your record has or will be sealed
- You may not know whether to disclose the offense during an interview
- There are numerous exceptions to the law that may make you ineligible and you don’t know
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