How to Get a DUI Expunged in Pennsylvania | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

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How to Get a DUI Expunged in Pennsylvania

Having a DUI record in Pennsylvania can be a major setback when it comes to applying for jobs, submitting rental applications, seeking professional licenses, and pursuing opportunities where a criminal background check is required. While many offenses can’t be erased from a criminal record, some DUI offenses can be, especially in cases where an individual participated in an Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) program.

Pennsylvania DUI Expungement Laws

In Allegheny County, a person can expunge certain DUI records, including non-convictions, convictions of summary offenses, and parts of plea bargains. Examples of non-convictions include verdicts of not guilty, dismissals, withdrawal of charges, and ARD competition. Summary offense DUIs can be expunged as long as the defendant has not been arrested or prosecuted for 5 years following the DUI conviction. Parts of a plea bargain package include ARD, Probation Without Verdict (PWV), and Allegheny Service Institute (ASI) programs.

If a defendant hasn’t taken part in an ARD program, the process for getting a DUI record expunged can be more difficult. Generally, a DUI offense may be expunged when an individual:

  • Reaches 70 years of age and has not been arrested or prosecuted in 10 years following release from incarceration or supervision.
  • Has been deceased for three or more years.
  • Petitions a court for the expungement of a summary offense (a minor criminal offense) and has also been free of arrest or prosecution for 5 years following the original conviction.

A person has to wait years after their conviction before being eligible for a DUI expungement in Pennsylvania. The precise amount of time varies depending on a number of factors, including whether the person completed an ARD program. If a person did complete an ARD program, he or she may automatically have his or her ARD records expunged after 10 years.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition & Expungement in PA

Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) is a court program typically offered to first-time offenders who are unlikely to drive under the influence of alcohol again. After completing an ARD program, a person may be eligible to have his or her DUI record erased, after 10 years.

In Pennsylvania, this process of erasing a criminal record is known as expungement. A DUI expungement in PA effectively erases a person’s DUI record and results in the destruction of paper records, the deletion of computer files, and the striking of court documents relating to a DUI conviction.

5 Steps to Getting Your DUI Record Removed Through ARD

    1. Determine Whether ARD Is Right For You — Speaking with an experienced Pittsburgh DUI lawyer can help you determine whether seeking admission into the ARD program is the best option for you. In many cases, agreeing to take part in the ARD program as part of a plea bargain package is beneficial. However, depending on the strength of the prosecutor’s case and the circumstances of your arrest, it may make more sense to fight your charges.
    2. Undertake a Full Drug and Alcohol Assessment — A full drug and alcohol assessment may be required if your BAC was over .16, or there are indications that you may need evaluation for counseling or treatment. Undertaking a full drug and alcohol assessment may be required before you are eligible to take part in the ARD program.
    3. Participate in the ARD Program — Participation in the ARD program can involve probation supervision; drug or substance use evaluation, treatment, and counseling; license suspension; and restitution to those who faced loss as a result of your DUI offense. Participation in the ARD program could take a period of months or years, depending on the circumstances of your case.
    4. Pay Fees and Costs of Program — Fees associated with the ARD program can include Alcohol Highway Safety School fees and evaluation and treatment costs. Payment of fees and costs may be necessary to meet court-ordered requirements.
    5. File a Motion of Expungement in the Department of Court Records, If Necessary — In Allgeheny County, a criminal record can only be expunged after a motion for expungement is brought to the Department of Court Records Criminal Division and granted by an order of court from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. For first-time offenders and participants in the ARD program after 1990, this happens automatically after 10 years; for those who participated in the program before 1990, however, an offender must file a motion to expunge his or her DUI criminal record.

Our Pittsburgh DUI Expungement Lawyers Can Help You

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in PA and are wondering if you might qualify for a DUI expungement in PA–whether or not you’ve taken part in an ARD program — contact an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney today.

Living with a DUI record can have a major impact on a person’s life. By contacting one of our DUI expungement attorneys you’ll be taking the first steps toward getting your DUI record erased. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC we’ll fight to get your DUI record expunged so that you can return to your life unburdened by a criminal record. For a free, initial consultation, call us at (412) 281-2146 or fill out our contact form.