Pennsylvania’s “Clean Slate Law” a Paper Tiger

It should not come as any surprise that Pennsylvania’s highly touted “clean slate” law is a lame effort. The law in no way takes the place of Expungements. Here is the difference: although Expungements can be undertaken only when there is a dismissal or acquittal and the “Clean Slate” law can erase actual convictions, only low-grade (M3 and M2) convictions are affected, worse, these convictions are not truly expunged (or destroyed) but are simply hidden from ‘public” view. They are still visible to law enforcement, government agencies and employers required to do FBI background checks. And to further emaciate the law, the legislature requires that the person be crime free for ten years before the conviction is sealed.

An Expungement completely obliterates a criminal arrest record and allows the person to answer “NO” to the question “Have you ever been arrested for……..?”

We advise anyone who has been arrested for any offense which did not lead to a conviction to have that arrest record expunged. And don’t count on the “Clean Slate” law to be of much help.