Wolf signs bill allowing minor criminal records to be sealed

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A new Pennsylvania law gives people a way to ask judges to seal criminal records from public view if they’re not more serious than nonviolent misdemeanors.

Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday signed the bill that applies to people who have been free of arrest or prosecution for 10 years.

It applies to second- and third-degree misdemeanors under Pennsylvania law, or such crimes as trespassing, vandalism and indecent assault.

Wolf says the new law will reduce the number of people who re-offend, take pressure off the pardon system and make it easier for people with criminal records to find work.

It doesn’t expunge criminal records, but makes it so people can obtain court orders to shield the records.

The law takes effect in nine months.