Pennsylvania DUI Expungement Checklist

Top view of earphone, calculator, alarm clock, spectacle, notebook, pen, smartphone and chalkboard written with CHECKLIST

Being convicted of driving under the influence in Pennsylvania can have serious, life-altering consequences. It may be more difficult to find a job, and you may be without a car for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, many of the costly consequences of a DUI simply must be dealt with if you are convicted. However, there is good new for residents of Pennsylvania.

Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania does allow you to get a DUI expunged from your record. What that means is it is like the DUI never happened. It cannot be held against you in any future court cases, on job applications or in any other circumstance. However, the process of getting your DUI expunged from your record is not necessarily an easy task; it can take time, and strict criteria must be met. Here is a checklist for you to consider if you are seeking a DUI expungement:

For Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Cases

In Pennsylvania, the court offers a special program to offenders with a limited criminal record, if any at all. This program, called an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD), often requires substance abuse treatment, probation-like supervision and other requirements. However, it greatly reduces court costs and keeps offenders out of prison. Perhaps best of all, those who have completed this program are eligible for DUI expungement after 10 years IF:

  • Your driving privileges were not revoked due to habitual offenses; and/or
  • You were not a commercial driver at the time of your first offense

When you are preparing to request your expungement in an ARD case, these are the steps you must take:

  • Complete a criminal history request form
  • Obtain an ARD program proof of completion
  • Submit a petition for expungement with the court clerk with the obtained paperwork
  • Submit to the court a notarized affidavit that the information you have provided is accurate

Once you have submitted all the paperwork, the district attorney who acted as the prosecutor in your case has 30 days to file a formal objection. If that happens, you may have to present your case in court. If there is no objection, then congratulations! Your expungement is complete.

In Regular DUI Cases

If you did not or could not go through the ARD process, getting a DUI charge expunged from your record becomes much more difficult. In order to qualify for expungement, at least one of these three criteria must be met:

  • You are at least 70 years old, and it has been at least 10 years since the completion of your most recent probation; you must not have been arrested or prosecuted for DUI in that time;
  • The person who had the DUI has been deceased for at least three years; OR
  • The DUI was considered a “summary offense” — punishable by a fine of no more than $300 and/or 90 days in jail — and you have been free or prosecution or arrest for at least 5 years

For standard DUI expungement cases in Pennsylvania, the following tasks must be completed:

  • Complete a criminal history request form
  • For expungement for a deceased loved one, provide a copy of the death certificate
  • Submit a petition for expungement with the court clerk with the obtained paperwork
  • Submit to the court a notarized affidavit that the information you have provided is accurate

From there, the district attorney has 30 days to file an objection. If they do not, your expungement is complete. If they do, you may be required to go to court.

The expungement process in Pennsylvania can be complex, but it is worth it. If you need legal assistance at any part in your case, do not hesitate to contact Steven E. Kellis. Your initial consultation is free.