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PRINTER'S NO. 541
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
578
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY SHUSTERMAN, GAINEY, BURGOS, SANCHEZ, FRANKEL,
SCHWEYER, GALLOWAY, HOWARD, ISAACSON, SCHLOSSBERG, ROZZI,
HILL-EVANS, NEILSON, WARREN, CIRESI, LEE, FREEMAN, KRAJEWSKI,
MADDEN, KINKEAD, PARKER AND GUENST, FEBRUARY 22, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, FEBRUARY 22, 2021
AN ACT
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in criminal history record
information, further providing for definitions and for
expungement.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "criminal justice agency" and
"expunge" in section 9102 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes are amended and the section is amended by
adding a definition to read:
§ 9102. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Criminal justice agency." Any court, including the minor
judiciary, with criminal jurisdiction or any other governmental
agency, or subunit thereof, created by statute or by the State
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or Federal constitutions, specifically authorized to perform as
its principal function the administration of criminal justice,
and which allocates a substantial portion of its annual budget
to such function. Criminal justice agencies include, but are not
limited to: organized State and municipal police departments,
local detention facilities, county, regional and State
correctional facilities, probation agencies, district or
prosecuting attorneys, parole boards, pardon boards, the
facilities and administrative offices of the Department of
[Public Welfare] Human Services that provide care, guidance and
control to adjudicated delinquents, and such agencies or
subunits thereof, as are declared by the Attorney General to be
criminal justice agencies as determined by a review of
applicable statutes and the State and Federal Constitutions or
both.
* * *
"Exoneration." Whenever:
(1) a pardon is granted under section 9 of Article IV of
the Constitution of Pennsylvania; or
(2) a judgment of conviction is reversed or vacated, or
a plea of guilty, no contest or nolo contendere is withdrawn
by leave of court, and the indictment or information is
dismissed or, if a new trial is ordered, either the claimant
is found not guilty at the new trial or is not retried and
the indictment or information dismissed, provided that the
count or counts dismissed are the sole basis for the
imprisonment, and regardless of whether or not
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) evidence forms the basis of the
reversal, vacation, withdrawal, dismissal or pardon.
"Expunge." Any of the following:
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(1) [To] to remove information so that there is no trace
or indication that such information existed;
(2) to eliminate all identifiers which may be used to
trace the identity of an individual, allowing remaining data
to be used for statistical purposes; [or]
(3) maintenance of certain information required or
authorized under the provisions of section 9122(c) (relating
to expungement), when an individual has successfully
completed the conditions of any pretrial or posttrial
diversion or probation program[.]; or
(4) the removal, destruction or erasure of records
possessed by the Commonwealth or any of its political
subdivisions, including, but not limited to:
(i) Fingerprints.
(ii) Photographs.
(iii) Photographic plates.
(iv) Criminal history record information data for
the criminal proceedings of which the individual has been
exonerated.
* * *
Section 2. Section 9122(a) introductory paragraph and (4)
and (b) of Title 18, amended October 29, 2020 (P.L.718, No.83),
are amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
read:
§ 9122. Expungement.
(a) Specific proceedings.--[Criminal] Notwithstanding any
provision of law to the contrary, criminal history record
information shall be expunged in a specific criminal proceeding
when:
* * *
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(4) a judicial determination has been made that a person
is acquitted or exonerated of an offense, if the person has
been acquitted or exonerated of all charges based on the same
conduct or arising from the same criminal episode following a
trial and a verdict of not guilty. This paragraph shall not
apply to a partial acquittal or exoneration. A judicial
determination under this paragraph may only be made after the
following:
(i) The court provides notice in writing to the
person and to the Commonwealth that the person's criminal
history record information will be automatically expunged
pursuant to this section.
(ii) Upon receipt of the notice under subparagraph
(i), the Commonwealth shall have 60 days to object to the
automatic expungement on the basis that the person has
not been acquitted or exonerated of all charges relating
to the same conduct, arising from the same criminal
episode or otherwise relating to a partial acquittal or
exoneration.
(iii) Upon the filing of an objection, the court
shall conduct a hearing to determine whether expungement
of the acquittal or exoneration relates to the same
conduct, arises from the same criminal episode or
otherwise relates to a partial acquittal or exoneration.
The hearing may be waived by agreement of both parties
and the court.
(iv) Following the hearing, or if no objection has
been filed or the hearing has been waived, the court
shall order that the person's criminal history record
information be automatically expunged unless the court
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determines the expungement relates to the same conduct,
arises from the same criminal episode or otherwise
relates to a partial acquittal or exoneration.
Expungement shall occur no later than 12 months from the
date of acquittal or exoneration.
(b) Generally.--[Criminal] Notwithstanding any provision of
law to the contrary, criminal history record information may be
expunged when:
(1) An individual who is the subject of the information
reaches 70 years of age and has been free of arrest or
prosecution for ten years following final release from
confinement or supervision.
(2) An individual who is the subject of the information
has been dead for three years.
(3) (i) An individual who is the subject of the
information petitions the court for the expungement of a
summary offense and has been free of arrest or
prosecution for five years following the conviction for
that offense.
(ii) Expungement under this paragraph shall only be
permitted for a conviction of a summary offense.
(4) An individual with a conviction that i s the subject
of the information, whose conviction has been exonerated.
* * *
(b.2) Expungement fee waiver.--The following shall apply:
(1) The following shall be grounds for waiver of costs
to petition the court for an expungement when occurring as a
result of the presentation of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
evidence:
(i) Reversal or vacation of a conviction.
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(ii) Withdrawal of a guilty, no contest or nolo
contendere plea.
(iii) Dismissal of information or indictment.
(iv) Retrial where the defendant is found not
guilty.
(2) The county of the court having jurisdiction over the
matter shall bear the costs for all fees related to a
petitioner's expungement proceeding under this subsection.
* * *
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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