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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: April 13, 2015 11:22 AM
From: Representative Thomas P. Murt
To: All House members
Subject: Expungement of Criminal Records
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would modernize Pennsylvania’s approach to long-term reporting of minor criminal records. Pennsylvania’s expungement law currently only covers summary offenses.

My legislation would amend Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to include some 3rd degree misdemeanors and, if committed by people under the age of 25, some 2nd degree misdemeanors. A person must demonstrate rehabilitation by being arrest and conviction free for the 7 to 10 years prior to requesting an expungement. A person who is classified as a habitual offender (multiple serious convictions) will never be eligible.

A low-level misdemeanor in a person’s past can often serve as a continual barrier when seeking work, long after they have completed their sentence. My legislation proposes that the Commonwealth join a growing number of states that have expanded their expungement laws to reduce the period during which a minor criminal record can punish people. This legislation would benefit not just former offenders, but Pennsylvania as a whole, by countering high rates of recidivism, relieving an overburdened pardon system, and providing an opportunity for ex-offenders to join our workforce.

Introduced as HB1175