What Does The New Clean Slate Law Mean For You?

What Does The New Clean Slate Law Mean For You?

How The Clean Slate Law Works…

The Clean Slate Law uses technology to seal certain criminal records from public view. 

Arrest records are eligible for sealing if after charges are dropped. Minor conviction records are eligible for sealing after 10 years. 

Automated sealing began on June 28, 2019. By June 27, 2020, over 30 million cases will be sealed. This occurs without the cost of filing petitions in court. Did you know… that’s more than half of the charges in the court’s database.

According to a recent study, only 6.5% of people are eligible for record clearing filed petitions.

Automated sealing addresses this “second chance gap” by sealing records when people don’t have access to lawyers, can’t afford filing fees or don’t know their record is eligible.

 

The Clean Slate law means that if you committed a crime and you were arrested but never convicted, your record could be wiped clean.

So when you interview with a prospective employer, you can say “I don’t have a criminal record,” because you don’t — it’s gone from public view.

Before the law took effect if a person applied for a job, the employer could go online and look up one’s criminal records and they can use that information — for convictions, for misdemeanors and felonies — to determine if they’re going to hire them.

Who does the clean slate law apply to?

Those with summary offenses, non-violent misdemeanors like a DUI or buying marijuana, or crimes they were arrested for and never convicted of — and have not had other charges within ten years — will have their records sealed automatically under the law.

Check out mycleanslatepa.com for more information about the types of convictions that can be expunged.

Pennsylvania is sealing 30 million criminal records as part of Clean Slate law

Limited Access Petitions & Clean Slate Limited Access

 

 

Other articles you will find helpful regarding the Clean Slate Law:

Clean Slate A Future Without Judgement

Marilyn’s Story

Automated Sealing in Action

The following Expungement Summary is credited to MyCleanStatePA.com

At The Shelton Firm, we offer legal services ranging from Traffic Ticket Defense, Criminal Defense, DUI, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, and Divorce and Separation Issues. We also handle Expungements and Criminal record Sealing.

Contact Us Today
342 N. Queen Street
Lancaster jonathan.s@thesheltonfirm.com

717-823-0899

Lancaster City DUI Checkpoint on Nov 23 Leads to 7 Arrests

Lancaster City DUI Checkpoint on Nov 23 Leads to 7 Arrests

The day before Thanksgiving has slowly become one of the biggest drinking days of the year.  In response the Lancaster City Police teamed with several other Police departments to conduct one of the biggest DUI checkpoints of the year.    

The checkpoints were held on Queen Street and on Orange Street 3 years ago, both located In Lancaster City. Ultimately 7 drivers were arrested for DUI, and 4 others were arrested for possession of drugs.  At The Shelton Firm we understand that serious legal consequences can evolve out of what police call “routine interactions” with the public.

Police typically use information collected during a sobriety checkpoint to establish Probable Cause to draw the drivers blood and check it for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or Drug Metabolites.   Your appearance, things you say, and what is in plain view in your vehicle can all contribute to whether a policeman has probable cause to draw your blood.  Police can also ask you to perform a Field Sobriety test.

Due to recent department efforts across the state to curb drunk and drugged driving, It is important to be aware of your rights when entering a DUI checkpoint.  So here is what you need to know.

The Supreme Court has stated that although DUI Checkpoints are the equivalent of suspicionless motor vehicle stops they are not on their face unconstitutional.  They must follow certain guidelines so they can be held to not violate the 4th Amendment.  These guidelines are, (1) The Police may only conduct a momentary stop of your vehicle, less than 30 seconds, and they cannot physically search the vehicle or its occupants. (2) The Roadblock must be visible so as to limit the surprise of the people approaching the stop, this can include signs around 500 Feet out, and also the check point should be announced in a local newspaper.  (3) Also the decision to hold a Road block requires prior administrative approval, by a high ranking member of the Department.  (4)  Also the police must show, in court, that the location, and time selected for the checkpoint is likely to be traveled by intoxicated drivers, using empirical, or historical evidence.  (5)  Additionally, the question of which vehicles to stop at the roadblock should be determined by a predetermined standard that does not leave the cars to be stopped up to the officers discretion.

Many people believe that DUI Checkpoints are only designed to stop Drunk Driving.  This would be incorrect.  The numbers for Drugged Driving arrests have been consistently on the rise.  State and Local police have been on the lookout for Drugged drivers and have received extensive training in the signs of drug impaired drivers.

On average more than 1,500 drivers are charged with DUI every year in Lancaster County.  Pennsylvania has one of the strictest regulations regarding Controlled Substance DUI Drivers, which contributes to the stiff increase.  In Pennsylvania a driver can be found guilty of DUI under the Drug portion of the statute even if only a small amount of metabolite is present in the blood.  Metabolite is what remains in your body after it has processed the drugs.  Depending on the drug this metabolite remains in your blood and can be found with a blood test.  In PA the amount of metabolite required to be DUI is so low that a driver who smokes Marijuana on the 1st day of the month can be found guilty of DUI on the 30th day of the month, if the police have Probable Cause to draw your blood.

Have you been arrested or charged with DUI?  Dont navigate the confusing criminal justice system alone. Call The Shelton Firm today at 717-823-0899.

At The Shelton Firm we offer legal services ranging from Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, DUI, Divorce and Separation Issues, Expungements and Sealing of criminal records, and Traffic Ticket defense.   Our goal is to bring quality and affordable representation to the residents of Chester, York, and Lancaster County.

How Reckless Driving Affects You

How Reckless Driving Affects You

Have You Been Charged With Reckless Driving?

Here’s what Pennsylvania law says about: § 3736. Reckless driving
According to 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3736, reckless driving occurs when an individual drives their vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property.

It’s a serious offense in Pennsylvania and carries penalties such as license suspension, fines, and possible jail time.

Several actions may constitute reckless driving, and several other traffic offenses may be incurred simultaneously.

These infractions include speeding, driving without a license, driving while impaired, performing an illegal maneuver, and more.

What’s the difference between careless and reckless driving?

Careless driving is defined by section 3714 of Pennsylvania’s code as driving with “careless disregard” for the safety of persons or property. To help clarify the differences, an example of careless driving may be a person falling asleep behind the wheel, which is a summary offense.

Reckless, on the other hand, involves a person deliberately driving without care, such as excessively speeding.

Penalties For Getting Charged – May Include (but not limited to):

Pennsylvania code states that reckless driving is considered a summary offense under the law and is penalized with a fine of $200 upon conviction. Additionally, if convicted, you face a license suspension of six months. The $200 fine doubles if the incident occurs in a work or emergency zone. In some cases, the convicted may face jail time.

If you’ve been charged, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call us today at (717) 823-0899 for a free consultation and find out how we can help to get your life back to normal.

At The Shelton Firm, we offer legal services ranging from Criminal Defense, Personal Injury,
Automobile Accidents, DUI, Divorce and Separation Issues, Expungements and Sealing of criminal records, and Traffic Ticket Defense. Our goal is to bring quality and affordable representation to the residents of Chester, York, Lebanon, and Lancaster County.

Questions To Ask Your DUI Attorney

Questions To Ask Your DUI Attorney

Before a DUI attorney can give you feedback about your options, he or she needs to understand the charges and evidence. Answer any questions an attorney asks you with candor.

Here are some questions to ask your DUI attorney if you find yourself in a bad spot.

Once you have talked about your case, you can ask these questions of attorneys at The Shelton Firm:

  • Is a plea agreement a possibility? Would you recommend it?
  • Should we go to trial?
  • How does the court process work? What should I expect?
  • How long will do you think my case will take to come to a resolution?

Some additional relevant questions you may want to ask an attorney include:

  • Will anyone else be working on my case? Can I meet them?
  • Who will be representing me in court?
  • How quickly can I expect a response if I need to contact you?
  • How do you prefer to be contacted?
  • How often will I receive updates on the status of my dui case?

Hiring an Attorney

After meeting with The Shelton Firm, you’ll want to make a decision in a timely manner so the DUI attorney can start working on your case.

If you’re not sure if The Shelton Firm is right for you, and you’ve visited multiple firms, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Which attorney had the experience I need for the best outcome in my case?
  • Which one offered advice I found most helpful?
  • With which attorney was I most comfortable?
  • Whose legal fees can I afford?

If you are considering hiring a defense attorney for your DUI case, our experienced DUI lawyers will protect your rights and ensure you get the best representation possible.

Helpful Links For Driving Under The Influence In Pennsylvania

DUI Legislation In PA

Everything You Need To Know

DUI Penalties

Charged With Driving Under Suspension: 1543(b)?

Charged With Driving Under Suspension: 1543(b)?

Here’s what you need to know…

If your Pennsylvania driver’s license is suspended or revoked for any reason, and you are caught driving, you could be facing serious penalties.

If the original suspension was due to a DUI or you have multiple suspended license violations, you may be subject to mandatory jail time.

Many people do not realize (until it’s too late) that driving on a suspended license is such a major offense. In fact, many people are not even aware that their license is suspended until they are pulled over for some other reason. 

Most people don’t think about it this way, but… having a drivers’ license is a privilege and not a right.

Once your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, if you chose to drive you are directly violating the suspension, and that can have serious consequences if you are caught.

Here’s how the law about driving under suspension is written in Pennsylvania:

§ 1543(b) of Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Code is the law regarding “driving while [a person’s] operating privilege is suspended or revoked.” A § 1543(b) citation applies to those who’s operating privileges have been suspended, revoked or canceled due to a condition of acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for a DUI violation or for refusing to submit to chemical testing as part of a DUI arrest. Section 1543(b) applies and is considered suspended until a person’s driving privileges have been restored.

Caught driving under suspension? Call 717.823.0899 for a free consultation.

The Consequences for driving with a § 1543(b) suspended license are severe. Understanding the consequences of this charge can help prevent and avoid further violations that could cause even longer suspension or possible incarceration.

What are the penalties for a 1543(b) charge in Pennsylvania?

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543 (b) – This is charged when a person is caught driving when their license is suspended for an offense that is related to a DUI conviction or a chemical test refusal following an arrest for DUI.

The punishment for this violation is:

  • First Offense: 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
  • Second Offense: 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine
  • Third or subsequent offense: at least 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine

75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543 (b) (1.1) – More severe penalties will be imposed if a driver has a DUI-suspended license and is caught with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .02 percent, has any controlled substances in their system, or refuses to submit chemical testing on suspension.

The punishment for this driving under suspension violation is:

  • First Offense: 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine
  • Second Offense: At least 6 months in jail and a $2500 fine
  • Third or subsequent offense: At least 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for a third offense.

Many drivers make the mistake of thinking that they can drive after 12 months of suspension. You are eligible for reinstatement after serving your suspension, but you must go through the steps of getting your license reinstated, including the installation of an ignition interlock device in repeat DUI cases.

How A Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney Can Assist When You’re Charged With Driving Under Suspension

If you are charged with a 1543(b) or violation, it’s in your best interest to consult with a criminal attorney before your first hearing. Call us today at (717) 823-0899 to find out how we can help to get your life back to normal.

https://www.thesheltonfirm.com/hire-traffic-ticket-lawyer/

https://www.dmv.pa.gov/Information-Centers/Suspensions/Pages/default.aspx

At The Shelton Firm, we offer legal services ranging from Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, DUI, Divorce and Separation Issues, Expungements and Sealing of criminal records, and Traffic Ticket Defense. Our goal is to bring quality and affordable representation to the residents of Chester, York, Lebanon, and Lancaster County.