Last month, the proposed expansion to PA expungement law, Senate Bill 391,was referred to the Appropriations Committee where it needs to be scheduled for consideration by the Chairman, State Senator Corman. Please call Senator Corman’s office on this toll free number (855-741-2094) and simply let him or his staff members know that you want him to allow a vote on Senate Bill 391 (The expungement bill).
The bill being proposed would allow more people to be able to clear their PA criminal record. It would allow individuals who have misdemeanors of the 2nd and 3rd degree to apply to have the records expunged if they have kept a clean record for 7-10 years respectively. The current law states that crimes other than summary offenses can not be expunged until after the offender turned 70 years old or has been deceased for more than three years. The bill was officially amended on February 12, 2012 with a 14-0 vote. If this Bill passes, those who are eligible under the new expungement law can potentially change their lives and remove the stigma that follows a criminal judgment.
I believe that people who are not repeat offenders should have a second chance. There are hard working people out there that have been young and dumb, and made mistakes. Following them for the rest of their lives with limitations to succeed in schools and/or jobs does not seem fair. I can see if a person chooses to live out their life causing chaos and crime, and not trying to make their life better. Personally, my boyfriend was convicted of possession of weed (an ounce) when he was 18, and cannot get a job that he wants. He also wants to go to school for the oilfield. He has previous experience in the oilfield being a caser and a pipe liner. I’ve been trying to research the laws for FAFSA and it seems that if you have this type of conviction you are not able to receive any aid or there may be limitations.
A welcome effort, but still too little. Any offender who has remained law abiding for more than 10 years deserves expungement. My felony-class offense of forgery & misappropriation is nearly THIRTY YEARS in the past and yet I can’t find work in this economy. It is so blatantly transparent that the only reason this bill has gained ANY traction is that the Commonwealth seeks to reduce its incarceration expenditures (from recidivism) during a time of high deficits and reduced tax receipts. Otherwise, it would new business as usual. Bob Dylan was right: “Steal a little, they put you in jail. Steal a lot, they make you king.” That the Commonwealth is only considering ex-offenders it considers the “safest bet” is telling, also. If the Commonwealth thinks it played any role in my rehabilitation, it is collectively delusional. Throw a hard-working rehabilitated man who has paid his debt a bone already.