How Can I Get An Underage Drinking Charge Expunged?
Having a history of criminal activity on your record can jeopardize future opportunities. Many people don’t realize that even something as minor as an underage drinking charge can show up on a background check and limit your ability to get a job or be accepted for a visa.
Luckily, there’s a process called expungement, in which you can request the removal of this unwanted record from your history. However, the law varies in each state, and a need for reputable Philadelphia expungement lawyers. Let’s uncover every detail you need to know about the expungement of an underage drinking charge in Philadelphia, PA.
What Is Expungement?
In simple terms, expungement is the legal process of deleting or destroying your criminal record. This process aims to give opportunities to people who committed a crime in the past.
As this process permanently erases your criminal charge from your history, it follows strict guidelines, and only a few cases are allowed for expungement in Pennsylvania.
Cases Allowed For Expungement In Pennsylvania
Here are the cases eligible for expungement in Pennsylvania:
- Non-conviction cases: Non-conviction records are the cases in which you were charged with a crime but did not receive a conviction. You can entirely expunge these records if you did not commit any other misdemeanor or felony offenses.
- Summary offenses: A summary offense is a minor category of criminal offenses in Pennsylvania. These include underage drinking, disorderly conduct, and public drunkenness. If you have been convicted of a summary offense, you may be eligible for expungement after paying your fines.
- Special Programs: You may also be eligible for an expungement if you have completed a particular program, such as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). This pre-trial intervention program is offered to first-time, non-violent offenders.
- People aged 70 and above: If you are 70 years or older and have not been convicted of any other crimes for the past ten years, you may be eligible for an expungement.
Expungement Of Underage Drinking Charge In Pennsylvania
By now, you already know that expungement is probable in underage drinking charges in Philadelphia, PA. According to 18 Pa.C.S.A. Sec. 9122 (a)(3), you can file for an underage drinking charge expungement so long as:
- The requestor has settled off all his penalty fines and tickets;
- The requestor has accomplished the driver’s license suspension;
- The requestor has filed a petition to expunge at the Court of Common Pleas.
The entire expungement process is time-consuming and may take a few months to get your records cleared. Furthermore, it’s not 100% guaranteed that your petition will be approved.
Because of this risk, it’s highly advisable to seek the help of a qualified lawyer to represent you in court. An expungement attorney will guide you through every step of the process and increase your chances of getting your records expunged.
Talk To A Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer
Our criminal defense lawyer at Brennan Law Offices has more than two decades of criminal defense experience helping clients get their records expunged. We also have an experienced DUI lawyer in Philadelphia if needed.
If you have been charged with an underage drinking offense and it’s having a detrimental effect on your life, it’s time you take action. Call our criminal defense attorney at 215-568-1400 to schedule your free consultation.