HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Lower-level criminal convictions are starting to be automatically sealed under a year-old Pennsylvania state law touted as a way to give offenders a fresh start.
State officials and other supporters on Friday called the “clean slate” legislation a model for other states.
The court system plans to be sealing about 2.5 million records a month for the next year, including summary offenses, less serious misdemeanors, and those that did not result in convictions.
Defendants aren’t eligible if they have a prior criminal history that includes a felony, two first-degree misdemeanors or four second-degree misdemeanors.
The convictions aren’t automatically expunged and will be available to police, courts, and prosecutors.
People who aren’t eligible for automatic sealing can ask a judge to seal misdemeanors, with some exceptions.