Bucks Writs - Spring 2019 - 18

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New Clean Slate Act
Expands Options for Clearing
a Criminal Record In PA
Criminal records, even long-ago charges for minor offenses,
can create long-term barriers to employment, housing, and
education. Those records can then plague individuals for
years, in some cases preventing them from accessing opportunities that would enable them to escape poverty.
Pennsylvania law offers limited options for clearing records,
but those options expanded Dec. 26, 2018, when the
Clean Slate Act took effect. Now, Clean Slate's recordsealing provisions supplement expungement and pardons
to help Pennsylvanians seeking a second chance, so that
minor convictions with no further misdemeanor or felony
convictions don't become life sentences.
The Clean Slate law passed the General Assembly with
strong bipartisan support: PA House Bill 1419 passed the
House, 188-2, and Senate, 49-0. On June 28, 2018, Gov.
Tom Wolf signed the bill, 2018 Act 56, into law.
For individuals hoping to clear their records as a pathway to
a better job, housing or education opportunities, Legal Aid
of Southeastern Pennsylvania (LASP) attorneys hold clinics
and information sessions in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and
Montgomery counties to outline "next steps." In Bristol
on March 14, Erica Briant, LASP's Regional Expungement
Attorney, presented information about the expungement,
sealing and pardon processes to 70+ people at a Second
Chance Expo sponsored by the office of State Rep. Tina
Davis, at Norton Avenue First Baptist Church. Briant and
Tesla Thomas, Staff Attorney based in LASP's Bristol office,
also hosted an information table afterwards.

to clear their record under Clean Slate will need to wait
10-20 years after their convictions to start the process.
To qualify for record-sealing, petitioners also must be free
of additional misdemeanor or felony convictions during
those 10-20 years. All fines, costs and restitution must be
paid. The 10-year clock starts on the disposition date (date
of conviction or guilty plea). "Probation counts toward the
10-year clock," Briant noted.

More information on record sealing, expungement and
pardons follows:

Clean Slate process

"Felony convictions can never be sealed," she said.

The new Clean Slate law enables individuals with criminal
records, including some first-degree misdemeanors, to
petition to have those records sealed. Sealed records are not
publicly accessible, but law enforcement, courts and some
employers retain limited access to view them. Depending on
the number and severity of the convictions, those seeking

Automatic record-sealing
starts June 28, 2019
Cases that just became eligible for automatic sealing under
the Clean Slate Act are scheduled to be processed between
June 28, 2019, and June 27, 2020. Sharon Dietrich,
Litigation Director and Managing Attorney of Community
18



Bucks Writs - Spring 2019

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/BucksWritsSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2017
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com