Information on the "Clean Slate Bill" in Pennsylvania
23rd August 2019
One year ago on June 28, 2018, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1419, known as the “Clean Slate Bill.” One year later, effective June 28, 2019, the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania began automatically sealing eligible criminal and summary records.
Under Clean Slate, criminal history record information pertaining to eligible criminal and summary records, and non-conviction records will be automatically shielded from public view when individuals have been free from conviction of offenses punishable by a year or more in prison and have completed all court-ordered obligations for 10 years. These records will NOT be expunged, and will still be accessible to law enforcement and judicial officers.
Due to a large volume of cases, there will likely be a backlog of cases during the first year of the Clean Slate program. An individual who believes their record was not sealed due to a backlog, or was not sealed in error, may file an Act 5 petition for limited access.
Act 5 limited access allows individuals who have completed their punishment and court ordered obligations to petition the court to seal the records from public view. Many of the same records that would be sealable under Clean Slate can be sealed sooner under Act 5.
Individuals convicted of the following offenses are eligible for Clean Slate:
- Second and third degree misdemeanors, and misdemeanors punishable by two years or less in prison
- Summary convictions
- Charges not resulting in convictions
Individuals convicted of the following offenses are not eligible for Clean Slate:
- Crimes involving danger to persons
- Crimes against families
- Firearm offenses
- A full list of ineligible offenses is available here.
- Individuals convicted of any of the following are not eligible for Clean Slate at any time:
- A felony
- Two or more offenses punishable by more than two years in prison
- Four or more offenses punishable by one or more years in prison
- Indecent exposure, sexual intercourse with animals, failure to register upon conviction of certain sexual offenses, weapons or implements for escape, abuse of a corpse and unlawful paramilitary training.