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CCBA Feature

Legal
Update
EXPUNGEMENTS
By Charles T. DeTulleo, Esquire

J

ust a short update for those who dabble in expungement
actions. Many of you that do expungements will seldom
file a Petition for Expungement for a summary offense.
If you do not do this on a regular basis, you need to use the
form that was provided by the Administration Office of the
Pennsylvania Courts under Pa.R.Crim.P. §470. You also
know that 18 Pa.C.S.A. §9122(b)(3) provides that a summary
conviction can only be expunged if the petitioner "...has
been free of arrest or prosecution for five years following the
conviction for that offense."
Early cases that looked at this section interpreted it to mean
that you could only qualify for this remedy if the five years was
immediately after the conviction for the offense. It has taken
a while but a case finally went up to the Pennsylvania State
Supreme Court and has given us different guidance.
In Commonwealth v. Giulian, 141 A.3d 1262, (Pa., 2016),
the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reviewed the Superior
Court's decision of this case and reversed that court. The Lexis

entry1 for the decision starts with:
"Prior History: Appeal from the Order of the Superior Court
at No. 906 MDA 2014 dated February 23, 2015
Affirming the Order of the Centre County Court of
Common Pleas, Criminal Division, at No. CP-14MD-0000836-2013 dated April 30, 2014. Trial Court
Judge: Bradley P. Lunsford, Judge. Intermediate
Court Judges: Kate Ford Elliot, President Judge
Emeritus, Jacqueline O. Shogan, Judge, Victor P.
Stabile, Judge. Commonwealth v. Giulian, 2015 PA
Super 42, 111 A.3d 201, 2015 Pa. Super. LEXIS 62
(Pa. Super. Ct., 2015)."
"Case Summary Overview
ISSUE: Whether expungement of summary convictions
from a petitioner's criminal history record was
appropriate, under 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122(b)(3), when,
although she failed to remain free of arrest or

I quote this part of the case to demonstrate how many levels this case went before there was a decision that makes more sense of the statutory language of the law.

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