Expungement – Chester Co

Sealing a Criminal Record & Expungement in Chester County, PA

Is it possible to have a clean record after being arrested or charged with a crime?

The short answer is yes.

Whether or not you are convicted of a crime, if you are arrested you may still have a criminal record visible for anyone doing a background check, unless you petition the court for it to be expunged.

Expungement means having a record that is concealed. As you may already know, a criminal record can deeply affect your ability to get a job or housing, among other liberties, like joining the military, gun ownership, and legal immigration status.

Expungement prevents the general public (and future money lenders, landlords, employers or college admission departments) from seeing your criminal arrest or conviction record during a routine background check such as an Act 33/34 clearance.

Even if you beat your charges and are not convicted of a crime, you will have a criminal record unless you petition the court for an expungement of your criminal record. When you petition the court for an expungement, you are requesting a permanent removal of your arrest and/or conviction from your record. In other words, your criminal record will be “sealed”.

If you have been convicted of a crime like a first-time DUI in Chester County PA or a summary offense, or if you have a juvenile record, you may be able to have your criminal record wiped clean, or “expunged”.

It may be especially important to have your record expunged if you are or plan to be a certified professional or a CDL holder. Depending on your career, your professional license may be at risk over a DUI. Read more information about your professional license and a DUI or criminal record.

Expungement is the equivalent of “it never happened”.

If you are granted an expungement of your criminal record, you can honestly answer, “No” to the question “Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?” Your record will show no criminal history.

All criminal records remain public until a motion for expungement is filed and granted by the courts. There is a process for having your arrest or criminal record expunged. Read below for more information on what types of criminal arrests and convictions can be expunged and the process for sealing records in Chester Co PA.

A qualified and experienced expungement attorney in Pennsylvania can be of great help throughout the expungement process. If you have questions about getting your criminal record expunged, get a free case evaluation today.

Don’t Let a Criminal Record Burden You Forever

Call Criminal Expungement Attorney Wana Saadzoi 
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Why Should I Have My Criminal Record Expunged?

A criminal history limits your trustworthiness in the eyes of many employers, landlords, and college admissions personnel. Having your record expunged means your arrest, charge, and/or conviction will not appear on background checks – something anyone could find when you are looking for jobs, housing, or college.

If you are planning on looking for employment or going to college, having a criminal record of any sort could affect the decision-making process. A criminal record may hurt your chances of gaining employment or being accepted into college or in receiving financial aid for college.

In addition, if your employer or line of work requires you to be bonded, you may also find it difficult to get bonded.

If you are a U.S. Visa holder or are waiting for U.S. citizenship, your legal status may also be affected.

Your ability to obtain a gun permit may also be denied due to a criminal record.

Reasons to have your criminal record expunged:

  • College admissions office will not see your criminal history;
  • To receive Act 33/34 clearance;
  • Potential employers or current employers and Human Resource Department will not see your arrest or criminal history;
  • Landlords will not see your criminal history when conducting background checks;
  • Potential money lenders, creditors, or loan officers will not see your criminal history when conducting background checks;
  • So your criminal record will not affect your legal immigrant status;
  • To keep basic civil rights, like gun ownership.

What is the Expungement Process in Chester County, PA?

The process for obtaining an expungement can be tricky and you must file the correct paperwork, or your petition will be rejected. In addition, you will generally be granted a hearing to determine if expungement is appropriate in your case.

This is why an experienced attorney can play a pivotal role.

You will have to provide an argument to the court and they still have the option of denying you an expungement. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney help you through the process is the best way to guarantee that it is done correctly and effectively the first time.

In addition, if you have a criminal record, your reputation is tarnished. Don’t let a criminal record affect your opportunities and self-esteem.

Don’t Let a Criminal Record Burden You Forever

Call Criminal Attorney Wana Saadzoi 
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Delaware County, PA | Chester County, PA | Montgomery County, PA

What Does Expungement Mean in Pennsylvania?

Under Pennsylvania Law, 18 Pa.C.S. § 9122 certain persons may obtain permission to have their criminal records removed from the files of criminal justice agencies in Pennsylvania.

If you have your record expunged, this means that your criminal records will be sealed.

Each county may have a different procedure. At The Law Offices of Wana Saadzoi, Esquire LLC, we are very familiar with the procedures in Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

Typically a motion first needs to be filed and then granted by the court. When filing a motion, it helps to have an experienced Pennsylvania Expungement Attorney help in the process, so you can rest easy that everything is done correctly and you have the best chance of having the expungement granted by the court.

If you have a juvenile record, you may also be able to have that expunged from your permanent record.

What Types of Crimes Can Be Expunged?


Even if you win in court and are not convicted of a crime, you may still need to file a motion with the court to have your record expunged. Expungement for non-conviction records is automatic in Pennsylvania after 18 months, but if you have to look for employment or apply to colleges in the meantime, you will want to have an attorney file a court order on your behalf to have your record expunged sooner.

Non-convictions include a not-guilty verdict, withdrawal of the charges, a case dismissal, or nolle prosequi (do not prosecute). This can also include acceptance and successful completion of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) and Probation Without Verdict (PWV) programs.


The passage of Act 134 in 2008 allows Pennsylvania courts to expunge records of certain offenses that result in a conviction. Prior to passage of Act 134, no criminal convictions were able to be expunged – even minor offenses stayed on your permanent record.

These may include:

  • A conviction for a summary offense after five years have passed, if the defendant has remained free of arrest or prosecution during that time;
  • First-time DUI;
  • Underage drinking offenses;
  • First-time drug offenses;
  • Violation of probation cases without verdict;
  • If a person is over 70 years of age with no arrests in the past 10 years;
  • If a person obtains a pardon they qualify for expungement.

Lawmakers have also added to Pennsylvania Law, 18 Pa.C.S. §9122.1, which allows some misdemeanor offenses to be expunged after 10 years. To seek expungement of a misdemeanor the following must apply:

  • It must be a second or third-degree, non-violent misdemeanor offense
  • Offender cannot have any other criminal charges in the past 10 years
  • Cannot be convicted of an offense punishable by more than two years in prison

The best way to know for sure if your misdemeanor offense is eligible for expungement is to speak to a qualified, experienced defense attorney. They will be able to review the details of your case and give you a better idea of what can be done for you.

Don’t Let a Criminal Record Burden You Forever

Call Criminal Expungement Attorney Wana Saadzoi 
Free Legal Case Evaluations

Delco | Chesco | Montco

Expungement and ARD

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program in Chester County, PA is a probationary program primarily for first-time DUI offenders who have been charged with either a DUI or possession of a controlled substance.

Not every offender will qualify for admission into the ARD program. Speaking with a knowledgeable expungement attorney is the best way to determine if ARD is an option in your case.

The ARD program is NOT a conviction; it allows your criminal record to be expunged after satisfactory completion so you can have a clean criminal record again. However, the charges will remain on your record until the charges are expunged.

You must fulfill all of the requirements of the program in order to qualify for expungement. Failure to do so can result in your original charges being reinstated.

How Can Our Criminal Lawyers in Pennsylvania Help?

Everyone makes mistakes and we know that. But we also believe people deserve a second chance and having a permanent criminal record can hinder a true second chance from ever happening.

That is why we will do what it takes to have your criminal history expunged. We want you to succeed in life and we know you can, but if you have even a slight chance of getting your record clean, it will help so much.

We will work with you to understand your case fully and file the motions needed and follow-up necessary for the best chance of court approval.

Attorney Saadzoi has spent time on both sides of the law as a prosecutor and a public defender. As your lawyer, she will work aggressively to have your record expunged.

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Protect Your Rights. Call 610-566-5956 today. Spanish translation services are available and credit cards are accepted.

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Contact Attorney Saadzoi

The Law Offices of Wana Saadzoi, Esquire LLC – Chester County PA
600 Eagleview Blvd, Suite 300
Exton, PA 19341

Delco | Chesco | Montco

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