New law lets Pennsylvanians hide some old criminal records

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvanians with minor criminal convictions that are at least a decade old are starting to apply to seal those cases from public view under a new state law.

So far interest has varied widely, with more than a thousand people attending a set of free legal clinics on the topic last weekend in Philadelphia.

Since Monday, when the law took effect, only one applicant has filed the paperwork in York County, and there have been no filings in Dauphin County, which includes Harrisburg.

The process pertains to less serious misdemeanors such as trespassing or vandalism.

There’s a $132 fee, any punishment must have been completed and the defendant must have remained arrest-free for a decade.

The record would remain accessible to law enforcement but not to the wider public.

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