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Posted on: November 22, 2016

Clerk of Courts: New law on sealing criminal records takes effect

Act 5 of 2016
Contact:   Bryan L. Kline, Clerk of Courts
Phone:     724-830-3118
Email:      bkline@co.westmoreland.pa.us                    

For immediate release

Act 5 takes effect

On November 14th Act 5 of 2016 took effect. This act permits individuals convicted of certain nonviolent misdemeanor offenses to request the Court of Common Pleas to issue an order removing information about these convictions from public view under certain circumstances. Bryan L. Kline Clerk of Courts said “This is a fresh start for someone who was convicted of a nonviolent misdemeanor and the only agencies that will see this conviction are criminal justice agencies. The defendant will then be able to get a fresh start and this should open the door for employment, housing and educational opportunities for someone that has turned their life around after a conviction.” 

This relief pertains to certain convictions of 2nd or 3rd degree misdemeanor offenses or upgraded offenses punishable by no more than two years in jail. A defendant is ineligible for this if they were convicted of any felony or misdemeanor of the first degree or have been convicted of four or more misdemeanor offenses. Additionally a defendant is ineligible unless they have been free of arrest or conviction for a period of 10 years following their latest release from confinement or supervision which includes payment of all court assessments.

Kline said “an individual wishing to obtain an order of limited access shall file a petition with the Clerk of Courts office in the judicial district that the case was disposed in, the fee for this is a $132.00.”
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