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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27419
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Dear Sir I have taken a new job as a caseworker II , Ive

Customer Question

Dear Sir: I have taken a new job as a caseworker II , I've had my clearances Act 34 and 35. My question is that now I have to be finger printed through the FBI. 20 some years ago I was picked up on a retail theft charge and went through the retail theft diversion program, this going to show up on the FBI report now? and jeopardize my ability to keep this job? Is it possible to have this record expunged? and if
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 years ago.

Unfortunately the state of Pennsylvania is among the least generous states. They will expunge a summary offense 5 years after a conviction. But otherwise, they won't expunge a conviction until you are over 70 years old or after you've been dead for 3 years. As absurd as that sounds, it's so. Here's the expungement law in your state.

Without an expungement, your criminal record will always stay with you, and an FBI fingerprint check will turn up the retail theft. However, even if you were to be able to get the matter expunged, government agencies, government employers and state licensing agencies can see it anyway because nothing is ever really erased. And nothing is ever hidden from the government.

So if you are applying for a government job, when they ask you to disclose any convictions, including those that may have been dismissed by a diversion program or deferred adjudication, you should own up to it. Better that you have a 20 year old mistake than that you look like you're trying to cover it up with dishonesty in 2011.