PA Clean Slate Law Implementation Begins December 26

Clean Slate implementation begins as of December 26th, with thousands of Pennsylvanians newly eligible to seal their first-degree misdemeanors and their simple assault convictions. Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Law permits many criminal cases in Pennsylvania to be sealed – taken out of public view, so they cannot be used by employers, landlords and others.

Act 56 of 2018 allows records of second and third-degree misdemeanor criminal convictions to be automatically sealed after a 10-year period without subsequent offenses. The law does not apply to violent offenses or those committed with a firearm or other dangerous item; sexual offenses; cruelty to animals; or corruption of minors.

This legislation balances the opportunity for low-level, nonviolent offenders to move forward with their lives, while at the same time not shielding the records of violent criminals.

Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to enact a so-called “clean slate” law.

People all over the state have been looking for advice about whether Clean Slate will help them. Working with the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA), Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) has created the Clean Slate Screening Project.

People around the state can sign up for screening and advice either by calling the PBA or putting in their information at The PBA is recruiting lawyers who CLS will train on January 7th and who then will provide free legal screening and advice to these people. These lawyers will not themselves provide representation on expungement or sealing petitions if the person qualifies, but will direct them to potential legal help or let them know that Clean Slate will automatically seal their records when that part of the law goes into effect. See My Clean Slate PA outreach flyer for more information.

CLS will also be building MyCleanSlatePA into a one-stop site for breaking information about – what else? – Clean Slate information in PA.

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