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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2016 11:23 AM
From: Representative Ed Gainey
To: All House members
Subject: Expungement for Non-Violent Felony Convictions (former HB 2068)
In the near future I will be re-introducing legislation that would effectively expand expungement for certain eligible individuals in PA, specifically those who have been convicted of a non-violent felony.

We must address the continuing problem of criminal record expungement for those who are deserving of a fresh start and who have effectively demonstrated that their past mistakes do not define them. This is especially true for those who have a non-violent felony on their record, as we all know marks on criminal records haunt and stigmatize individuals who have long since paid their debt to society and have rejoined as contributing members of our communities and workforce.

Parameters for eligibility for expungement are as follows:
  • Clean record for ten (10) years after prior conviction and subsequent release from incarceration;
  • Consistent showing of gainful employment, education, housing and treatment (if needed) for successful transition and reintegration into the community;
  • Has paid or has entered into a payment plan accepted by the court for restitution resulting from prior conviction.
For the purposes of the bill and underlying policy issue, “non-violent offense” is defined as an offense that is not a crime of violence under Title 42, section 9714 (g). Subsection (g) defines a “crime of violence” as murder of the third degree, voluntary manslaughter, assault, manslaughter or criminal homicide of a law enforcement officer, murder of the third degree involving an unborn child, aggravated assault, terrorism, drug delivery resulting in death, trafficking of persons, rape, involuntary sexual deviate intercourse, kidnapping, burglary and robbery with a weapon, attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder.

Felony non-violent convictions are just as worthy for expungement as lower grade convictions (Summary through M-1). In fact, I would argue they are more necessary, because of the stigma attached to a felony attached to an individual’s record. If they have proved to be a productive member of society, their community and their family, expungement is the only logical answer.

Please consider co-sponsoring this legislation.


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Introduced as HB191