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What is a petition for Limited Access?

In December of 2016, Pennsylvania took a big step when it permitted individuals with certain criminal convictions to have them removed from public view. The limited-access provision can be requested for second- or third-degree misdemeanor convictions, including ungraded offenses (drug possession or DUI), provided that the responsible individual has completed all punishment and has had a clear record for at least 10 years.

Second- and third-degree misdemeanors include crimes such as criminal trespassing, vandalism and indecent assault. The law excludes some individuals from the limited-access process. Individuals with otherwise-eligible offenses are excluded from the limited-access process if they have offenses punishable by more than two years in prison, four or more offenses punishable by one or more years in jail, some subsets of misdemeanor simple-assault offenses, some subsets of sex-crimes offenses, some subsets of witness-intimidation offenses and offenses that require Megan’s Law registration.

So how does this differ from an expungement? If a Judge grants your limited access petition the Pennsylvania Central Repository and the District Attorney's office will still have access to your information. When an expungement is granted all agencies are required to destroy all information regarding your arrest and prosecution.

If you need a limited access petition filed or simply have questions regarding limited access petitions or expungements, please feel free to contact my office.

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