Often times, shoplifting cases involve an individual being stopped by a loss prevention agent before actually leaving the store property with the unpaid merchandise. What most people don't realize is that you can still be charged, and convicted, of shoplifting even if you never make it through the exit.
Expungement, or "setting aside a criminal conviction," effectively erases an individual's criminal record to the public. When a record is expunged, information regarding arrests or convictions is not available in background checks. If you successfully expunge your record, when you apply for a loan, an apartment, or a job, the offense does not legally have to be disclosed.
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are very few circumstances in which you are eligible to have convictions expunged from your criminal record. In fact, only summary offenses are eligible for expungement, and you must wait five (5) years from the date of conviction before you can make the request. Misdemeanors and felonies can never be expunged. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. First, individuals who are over the age of seventy (70), and have been free of arrest or prosecution for ten (10) years following release from confinement or supervision, can be granted an expungement of their record. Second, in most circumstances, those who successfully complete an A.R.D. (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program can have their charges expunged.
In June of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Birchfield v. North Dakota which affects every driver who is stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This ruling will cause states to reevaluate how they process suspected intoxicated drivers.
Charles Henderson, 62, of the 300 Block of Washington Street was represented by Scott M. Wilhelm, Esq. Mr. Henderson was charged with First Degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and Second Degree Cild endangerment. . The first degree charge carried a sentence of up to 20 years in state prison. Attorney Scott Wilhelm successfully argued to the Court that certain prior bad acts were inadmissible. In particular, the State alleged that Mr. Henderson was involved in a prior sexual crime in 1986. This evidence was excluded and therefore the jury was unaware of this evidence. During the trial both Mr. Henderson as well as his accuser testified at length. As a result of Attorney Wilhelm's legal arguments and presentation of his case, the Jury Acquitted Mr. Henderson on all charges.