When you are arrested, it can be a scary moment. For many people, this is the wake-up call they need to turn their life around. That’s why Pennsylvania offers alternatives for first-time offenders that do not impose harsh punishments that carry long-term consequences. Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program offers people a second chance to have a clean record. During this pre-trial intervention program for first-time offenders, you have the chance to be rehabilitated without getting a formal conviction. After you finish ARD, your record can be completely expunged, giving you a clean record.

Because this is the best element of the ARD program, most people assume that the expungement happens automatically. Unfortunately, this is usually not true; in fact, they expungement petitions have to be filed by the person with the ARD record or a lawyer. In Montgomery County, Delaware County and Chester County, specifically, expungments are never automatic. Many people we come into contact with in Montgomery County are unaware of this fact, which exposes them to problems later. For those people who never file for expungement after completing their ARD requirements, the arrest may unexpectedly show up on a background check, ruining a person’s chances for a promising job, school or housing opportunity.

Filing a Petition for Expungement in Montgomery County

What this means for you after ARD is that you must formally file a petition for expungement. This process should be sounds straightforward, but it is important that all the paperwork is filed with the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts exactly right, or you may find your application rejected. Not all expungements are filed in exactly the same way, so there is no cookie cutter method we can advise you to use. Not only that, but court regulations are constantly changing the process of expungement on a county by county basis. In fact, Montgomery County policies and procedures regarding certain expungments were just recently changed again.

If you have completely ARD successfully, you deserve your second chance. That’s why we want to make sure your expungement petition is filed correctly the first time. The easiest way to ensure this happens is to seek the assistance of counsel. You don’t want to risk any problems clearing your criminal record. If you are considering applying for an expungement in Montgomery County, call us today at Fienman Defense at (215) 839-9529 for a free consultation on your case. We are always here to help make the expungement process as simple as possible.

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