New Law Limits Employers’ Access to Criminal Records

Next month, a new law will take effect which will help Pennsylvanians limit access to their prior criminal records. The law will limit access to records of criminal convictions for many low level offenses which are more than 10 years old, if they have been free of crime since that time. Senate Bill No. 166, which was signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on February 16, 2016, provides an avenue to relief for individuals who were convicted of certain non-violent second and third degree misdemeanors. While law enforcement agencies and the courts will still have access to this criminal information, the public, and more importantly employers, will no longer be provided records of these convictions.

Examples of offenses which will be eligible for expungement under the new law include retail theft, criminal trespass, vandalism, and indecent assault. However, the law specifically excludes certain crimes such as simple assault, witness or victim intimidation, or a conviction requiring registry under Megan’s law. More serious offenses, including first degree misdemeanors and felonies of any degree, will not be eligible for expungement under the law.

Please contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Goldberg Katzman to determine whether records of your prior convictions can be removed from public access under this law. We look forward to helping you clean up your record to enhance your employment opportunities.

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