Many people have DUI’s or other criminal offenses which they want off their record. There are a number of ways to go about this process. Today we examine Limited Access.
Who can apply?
Any conviction for a second degree, third degree or ungraded misdemeanor can apply for limited access. (Any conviction punishable by 2 years or less can apply, convictions punishable by more than two years do not qualify). Applicant must have been free of arrest or prosecution following conviction or release from confinement for a minimum of 10 years.
Certain misdemeanor offenses are prohibited – simple assault (unless fight entered into by mutual consent); sexual intercourse with an animal; impersonating a public servant; intimidating a witness or victim; retaliating against a witness, victim or party; intimidating, retaliating or obstructing in a child abuse case; and any offense which requires registration as a sex offender.
Also excluded are those who have 4 or more convictions for offenses punishable by 1 or more years’ imprisonment.
- Petition for Order for Limited Access is completed (available for free online)
- Must include Criminal background check through PSP. Can be requested online through Pennsylvania’s epatch system (cost is $8.00).
- The petition is filed in the Court of Common Pleas where the conviction occurred (cost varies depending on county).
- The District Attorney is notified and is given 30 days to file an objection.
- If an objection is filed, a hearing will be scheduled.
- If no objection filed, the petition is sent to the judge for a signature.
- When the petition is granted, a copy of the signed order granting limited access is sent to the Pennsylvania State Police central repository, which is responsible for notifying all pertinent criminal justice agencies of the grant of limited access.
Limited access is not an expungement. Access to the criminal records is allowed for criminal justice agencies and for official use by a government agency. This includes state licensing agencies which oversee certain licenses and certifications such as nursing licenses, commercial driver’s licenses and other professional licenses which are granted by the state.
The process is brand new, but the statue suggests that if you are eligible to apply for limited access, the petition will be granted. As the process is new, the success rate will be dependent upon whether or not prosecutors object.