Juvenile Record Expungement Process

What does Expungement Mean?
Expunge or Expungement is the act of legally erasing or the process of legal erasure of the juvenile record or the sealing of the record making it permanently unavailable to the public, but where some information may be retained only by a juvenile justice agency for limited purposes as provided by Rule 173 of the PA Rules for Juvenile Court Procedure.  

Are juvenile records automatically expunged after some period of time?
No. To have juvenile records expunged/destroyed, the juvenile (subject of the record), parent/guardian, attorney or another concerned party must submit the correct documents to the court (or motion to the court) for consideration for expungement

How do I know if my record can be expunged?
The Court may expunge the records upon filing a motion, if it finds any one of the following:
  • An allegation is not substantiated or is dismissed.
  • Six months have passed since terminating supervision under a consent decree and no juvenile or criminal charges are pending.
  • When a juvenile has been discharged from Court supervision pursuant to Rule 631 and:
    • Five years have elapsed;
    • the juvenile has not been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a felony or misdemeanor;
    • no Court proceeding is pending seeking such conviction or adjudication of delinquency; and
    • the delinquent act is not an act precluded from expungement pursuant to Title 18 Pa.C.S. § 9123(a.1); or
    • when the Attorney for the Commonwealth consents to the expungement.  
Can Juvenile Court records be used in later adult criminal proceedings?
Yes. Adjudications of Delinquency may be used. Although delinquency adjudication is not technically a conviction for a crime, delinquency records can be used against defendants in adult criminal proceedings under the following circumstances: 
  • By courts in deciding whether to grant a defendant bail.
  • By courts in deciding whether to grant probation for misdemeanor offenses. In practice a delinquency record is likely to hurt a defendant's chances of being sentenced to only probation for misdemeanors.
  • By Pennsylvania Criminal Courts in determining appropriate sentencing for felonies. Felonies committed by juveniles 14 or older are used to determine a point total in adult court under the state's sentencing guidelines. The Pennsylvania Courts have stated a juvenile record can be used when a jury decides whether capital punishment is appropriate.
  • By Federal Courts in sentencing proceedings. Federal courts must consider past criminal conduct, including certain delinquency dispositions, when making sentencing decisions.
What information is expunged?
The Court, the Juvenile Probation Office, and the District Attorney's Office may maintain confidential information for determining eligibility for a Court program, the grading or penalty of an offense, or for other purposes as provided by law to include some of the following:
  • A list of juvenile names;
  • identifying information, such as date of birth;
  • the case docket number(s)
  • a list of delinquent acts alleged or petitioned;
  • a list of delinquent acts found, if applicable; and
  • the disposition of the case
  • a copy of the Court order to expunge;
  • all other information available to the general public would be expunged. 

The Juvenile Probation Department expunges any information it creates and any information it receives from outside sources.  The State and Local Police will expunge arrest records and records of juveniles’ dispositions upon receipt of a certified court order from the petitioner.  Juveniles who have been adjudicated on a felony charge are required to submit a DNA sample, which is kept at the State Police Repository. DNA samples are never destroyed.

How do I start the process?
For more information on Expungements, contact Joe Dodds at 610-344-6394 or [email protected].