Juvenile Law Center

Juvenile Records

Juvenile Records in Pennsylvania

What is a record?

When charges are filed against you, a record is created. This record will have information from the police, your probation officer, your school, and information about drug tests and other evaluations you had to take.

What happens to my record?

The court will keep your record for 25 years unless you are granted an expungement. Your police records could be kept longer.

Who can see my record?

  • Judges and lawyers for your case; people who work at the agency if you are in a detention center or residential program; and police officers, if you are charged with another offense. 
  • If you were 14 years or older when you were charged and the offense would have been a felony if you were an adult, ANYONE can see your record. 
  • If you were 12 or 13 years old and were charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, arson, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, kidnapping, rape, robbery, robbery of a motor vehicle, or attempt to commit any one of these crimes, ANYONE can see the record.

What can I do to destroy my record?

To destroy your record, you can ask the court for an expungement. Expungement means that the court destroys your record so there is no trace of it. If you want to ask the court for an expungement, you have to file a motion. You can do this with a lawyer’s help or on your own. For help filing a motion for expungement, contact your public defender or probation officer.

How do I know if I can expunge my record?

You are eligible to have your record expunged if:

  • Your charge was dismissed, making you automatically eligible to expunge your record.
  • It has been 6 months since you were discharged from your consent decree supervision.
  • You were discharged from probation five years ago and have never been charged with another crime.
  • You are over 18 years old and the district attorney has consented to expunge your record.

Why would I want to destroy my record?

Having a record could affect your ability to:

  • Enlist in the military 
  • Get a job 
  • Obtain financial aid for college 
  • Be eligible for public benefits 
  • Get a driver’s license

 

Last updated December 2011

Sponsor

Juvenile Law Center's fact sheets are sponsored by The Alex Benjamin Norris Memorial Fund.