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Would You Benefit from a Clean Slate?


Would You Benefit from a Clean Slate?

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Community Legal Services of Philadelphia (CLS) is working on a bill, Senate Bill 529, which would help Pennsylvanians clear some old and minor criminal records without the need for a lawyer or going to court.  The proposed law is known as “Clean Slate.”

Criminal cases that qualify would be sealed automatically.  Qualifying cases include:

  • Some misdemeanor convictions (excluding crimes of violence and crimes requiring sex offender registration) that are more than 10 years old; and
  • Arrests in all cases (not just misdemeanors) that did not result in conviction, 60 days after the case was dropped.

Fines and costs must be paid for a misdemeanor to be automatically sealed.  After a case is sealed, employers, landlords and others who use background checks will no longer have access to the case.  Law enforcement will continue to have access to a sealed case.

Common misdemeanors that could qualify include minor drug and theft cases and DUI. 

If you would be helped by Clean Slate, CLS wants to hear from you!  We are especially interested in hearing from:

  • People who have first-degree misdemeanors that are more than 10 years old; and
  • People who cannot get a lawyer to expunge or seal their arrest or 10-year-old misdemeanor convictions.

Contact CLS with your story!  Call our paralegals Anthony Marqusee or Johanna Greenberg (215-981-3700) or email them at or  Help us show the state legislature how much this bill is needed!

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PDF icon Clean slate client outreach.pdf379.37 KB