CIVIL VERDICTS - PREMISES LIABILITY * Estate of Joan DeMarco v. The Marquis - Decedent business tenant of apartment/office complex owner murdered by former employee of defendant in violent assault during office burglary. Plaintiff's estate alleged negligent security theory of liability against defendant. Settlement negotiated with responsible insurance company in excess of One Million Two Hundred Thousand ($1,200,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Khaled Bakar v. Home Properties, Inc. - Plaintiff was standing on third floor balcony of friend's apartment owned by defendant, when the floor suddenly collapsed causing plaintiff to fall to ground. Plaintiff sustained fractured ribs, non-displaced tibia fracture and herniated disc, which was treated with physical therapy and multiple epidural injections. Montgomery County jury returned a verdict in the amount of Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine Thousand ($769,000.00) Dollars. Plaintiff filed Motion for Delay Damages which was granted and case was settled for Nine Hundred Thousand ($900,000.00) Dollars. * CIVIL VERDICTS - AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS * Riccardo v. Kim - Plaintiff sustained fractured cervical vertebrae at C5-6 level which required two surgeries and metal screws, arising from a two vehicle automobile accident. Out-of-court settlement negotiated with responsible insurance carriers in amount of Four Hundred Thousand ($400,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Estate of Robert Kane v. Joseph Falco - Decedent killed while passenger in one-car accident where intoxicated driver lost control of vehicle. Wrongful death claim settlement negotiated with responsible insurance company in the amount of Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand ($660,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Vinnie Moss v. Baldi Transportation/Erie Insurance Company - Plaintiff awarded Two Hundred Thirty Five Thousand ($235,000.00) Dollars by jury after trial. Defendant trucking company bankrupt and uninsured. Uninsured motorist claim settlement negotiated with plaintiff's insurance company in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand ($200,00.00) Dollars. * CIVIL VERDICTS - LIQUOR LIABILITY * Gerald & Irene Kane v. Dublin Wine and Spirits and Commonwealth of PA - Plaintiff husband and wife sustained multiple injuries in head-on collision with drunk driver. Husband-plaintiff sustained head injury resulting in brain hemorrhage and coma, with substantial recovery. Wife-plaintiff sustained broken ankle. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendants prior to trial. Husband's claim - Two Hundred Forty Thousand ($240,000.00) Dollars. Wife's claim - Ninety Thousand ($90,000.00) Dollars. (Bucks County)* Edward Pisarek v. Adriatric Club - Plaintiff police officer assaulted while on duty by intoxicated bar patron skilled in martial arts. Plaintiff sustained permanent partial hearing loss and multiple lacerations. Non-jury trial verdict in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in amount of One Hundred Fifty Thousand ($150,000.00) Dollars. (Philadelphia County) CIVIL VERDICTS - PRODUCT LIABILITY* Keith Rosenberger v. Galoob Toys, Inc. - Plaintiff sustained temporary partial loss of vision in one eye with increased risk of future glaucoma, when struck in eye by defendants' children's toy, while plaintiff demonstrated newly purchased toy for child. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendants in the amount of One Hundred Fifty Thousand ($150,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. (Montgomery County)* Raymond Cost v. Caterpillar, Inc. - Plaintiff sustained partial amputation of his lower leg, when his foot was crushed in an unguarded pinchpoint of rotating couplings inside engine area, while plaintiff was performing maintenance of defendant's heavy trash compactor/metal shearer. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendant in the amount of Four Hundred Seventy Five Thousand ($475,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. (Montgomery County)

Clear Your Pennsylvania Criminal Record: New Law Permits Expungement of Certain Misdemeanors

ExpungementOn February 16, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe signed into law Senate Bill No. 166 which permits the expungement of certain misdemeanor offenses. The new legislation restores opportunities for gainful employment, education, and housing for those with minor criminal records who have served their sentence and been crime free for a period of ten (10) years.

Under prior law, a person with a criminal record for a misdemeanor conviction could generally only clear their criminal record through a governor’s pardon which is notoriously difficult to obtain.  Practically speaking, a misdemeanor or felony conviction could not be expunged, but for several exceptions. The first exception permits the expungement of misdemeanor offenses for persons of  70 years of age or older and who have remained free of arrest and prosecution for ten years after completing their sentence. The second exception permits expungement of a criminal record of a person that has been dead for three years. For obvious reasons, these exceptions do not apply to the majority of people who need an expungement for employment purposes.

Pennsylvania Expungement of Misdemeanors Under New Law

Senate Bill No. 166 amends Section 9121 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code to allow persons convicted of nonviolent second and third degree misdemeanors and ungraded offenses which carry a maximum penalty of less than two years incarceration, to have their criminal record sealed from the public. In order to be eligible for expungement, the person must have satisfied their penalty in full and remained crime free for a period of ten (10) years since conviction or release from incarceration or probation/parole supervision.

There are however limitations which prohibit the expungement of certain offenses, notwithstanding their classification as second or third degree misdemeanors. For example, a person convicted of Simple Assault graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree cannot have their record sealed. The law also prohibits expungement for repeat offenders who have four (4) or more offenses punishable by imprisonment of one or more years.

Records which have been sealed are only sealed from disclosure to the public – not law enforcement. This means that members of the public such as potential employers, educational facilities and landlords will not be able to see a record of the misdemeanor conviction, but law enforcement officers can. Overall, the new legislation opens a world of opportunity for those who would have otherwise been forever burdened by a mistake made many years ago.

Eligible for Expungement of Misdemeanors in Pennsylvania if:

  • Convicted of a misdemeanor of second or third degree, or ungraded offense which carries a maximum penalty of not more than two years imprisonment; and
  • Free of arrest or prosecution for ten (10) years following conviction or final release from confinement of supervision, whichever is later; and
  • Convicted of fewer than four (4) criminal offenses punishable by one or more years imprisonment; and
  • Not convicted of a prohibited offense, including: Simple Assault (unless it is graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree); Sexual Intercourse with an Animal; Impersonating a Public Servant; Intimidation of Witness or Victims; Retaliation Against a Witness,Victim or Party; Intimidation, Retaliation or Obstruction in Child Abuse Cases; and any sexual offense which requires registration as a sexual offender.

Contact a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer Today to Clear Your Record

A Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney can help you clear your criminal record. At McMahon, McMahon & Lentz, we are criminal defense lawyers that regularly assist clients in obtaining expungements in  Montgomery County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, Berks County, and surrounding areas. If you are interested in clearing your criminal record, please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

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