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Ali Kirk
Ali Kirk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  14+ years experience in misdemeanor and felony trials and appeals.
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My son was adjudicated delinquent in September of 2007. He

Customer Question

My son was adjudicated delinquent in September of 2007. He was 14 years old. He was placed in a treatment facility for nine months. He was released and returned home to me June 12, 2008 after successfully completeing the program. No one can seem to tell me at what age we can try to have his juvenile record expunged. We live in Pennsylvania. Can you help me with an answer? My son has never been in trouble before. He made one bad mistake and I don't want him to have a record the rest of his life.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ali Kirk replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Yes, a juvenile record can be expunged in Pennsylvania.

DISCLAIMER (I really don’t like this but it is necessary): This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for “Legal Informational” purposes only and should not be confused with “Legal Advice” and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I added additional information that needs answered plus you didn't answer the most important item which is how old does he need to be to apply for an expungement.
Expert:  Ali Kirk replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. I'm not sure what happened with my answer -it seems to have erased most of the information I originally wrote to you! Let's try that again.

Juvenile criminal records are not automatically expunged once the offender is no longer subject to the Juvenile Court’s jurisdiction. To get the records expunged, the offender files a Petition for Expungement with the Juvenile Court in the county in which the offense was committed. A hearing is then scheduled before a judge to determine it the request for expungement should be granted. The court will order the records expunged if:

1.The original charges were dismissed or not proven true.

2. Six months have passed since the successful completion of a consent decree (a pretrial program where the case will be dropped if the offender successfully completes terms and conditions as set by a judge or juvenile master).

3. Five years have elapsed since the offender was released from the jurisdiction of Juvenile Court and no other charges have been filed against him.

In addition, the petition may be granted under circumstances where less than five years have elapsed. The court can order records to be expunged when the offender is over 18 and the district attorney consents to the expungement. Before ordering the expungement, the judge must weigh factors such as the gravity of the offense, the age of the offender, any further criminal history, adult and juvenile, the adverse consequences to the juvenile if expungement is not granted and the public’s interest in having the records maintained.

 

If your son was in a pre-trial diversion program, he would be eligible to apply for expungement now. If not, it appears under the Pennsylvania criminal code that he would have to wait up to 5 years from the date of his release to apply for expungement without re-offending. However, in certain circumstances, the petition may be granted where less than 5 years have passed if the offender is over 18 and agrees to the expungement. I would suggest you seek the advice of a local criminal defense attorney who is experienced in the area of juvenile expungement, as they can provide you with a lot more information on how the process works.

 

In answer to your second question, I would need to know what the exact charge was and what they are threatening to sue you for, to be able to give you any idea what the statute of limitations is on a civil case (typically it's between 4-6 years from the date of injury, but that can vary from state to state). In any case, I know of no way for anyone to extend the statute of limitations, which are set out in the state statutes.

 

I wish you the best of luck moving forward.

 

DISCLAIMER (I really don’t like this but it is necessary): This response is limited by the information that you have provided to this lawyer. Based on the information you have provided, I have responded based on my knowledge and interpretation of existing laws. It is possible that if the same question was asked to another lawyer, the response could be different. This response is for “Legal Informational” purposes only and should not be confused with “Legal Advice” and nothing in this response should be construed as legal advice for any individual case. Under no circumstances does this response directly or indirectly, establish or intend to establish an Attorney-Client relationship. This response is not and shall not be construed as a solicitation for the legal services of any attorney. If you have already retained a lawyer in connection with this inquiry and this fact is unknown to this lawyer, this response should not be construed as impending and/or interfering with your attorney-client relationship with such attorney.

This information is limited in scope and is confined to the question asked and should not be relied upon to provide a comprehensive picture of any particular situation and you are strongly encouraged to seek counsel for further course of action, if applicable. In other words, this response is not intended nor shall it be construed as providing you with all the information that your legal questions/issues may require. If you do require legal advice and retention/hiring of an attorney, I encourage you to consult an attorney who is actively engaged in the practice of law in the area of law relevant to your legal questions/issues and who is admitted to the bar or lawyer licensing agency in your jurisdiction(s) or the jurisdiction(s) that has jurisdiction over your legal questions/issues. This attorney is not responsible for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage related to your use of this response, whether from errors or omissions in the content of the response or any other sites that I may provide to you for reference.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
In October I was served with a paper called "WRIT OF SUMMONS IN CIVIL ACTION". I was told that this allowed the victim and his family to extend the statute of limitations. The charge was aggravated indecent assault. Is there an way you can give me a clearer picture as to this petition and what they can sue for (my social security, retirement funds, my house) and what this means for my son. I was told that the victim could come after my son until two years after the victim was 21. The victim was 5 years old at the time of the incident. This is a lot of years that my son has to worry about this. I am totally stressed out over all of this especially since I can't get definite answers as to what we may have to contend with in the future. Can you give me a definite age that we can try to expunge this and answers to the above?
Expert:  Ali Kirk replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

With respect to the expungement, since it does not appear that your son was in a pre-trial diversion program, he will have to wait up to 5 years from his release from the juvenile court system without re-offending before being eligble to apply to have his juvenile record expunged. In some cases, a court will allow a person who is 18 or over to apply early, provided that the District Attorney agrees to sign off. Before ordering the expungement, the judge must weigh factors such as the gravity of the offense, the age of the offender, any further criminal history, adult and juvenile, the adverse consequences to the juvenile if expungement is not granted and the public’s interest in having the records maintained.
Since I am a Florida lawyer, I suggest you consult with a local criminal defense attorney familiar with juvenile expungement for more information.

As to the second question, I am not familiar enough with Pennsylvania law to properly provide you with an answer I would be satisfied with. While I have a general idea as to what the writ is, and have reviewed the Pennsylvania code, I do not feel comfortable enough to give a complete answer and have opted out so that another expert may assist you.

Good luck to you and your son moving forward.

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Ali Kirk
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14+ years experience in misdemeanor and felony trials and appeals.