Criminal Defense
Western Pennsylvania
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Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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Summary Offenses

Convictions or Pleas that Look Especially Bad
Summary convictions can be expunged after 5 years, and that could take up to a year or more, so realistically, these charges will stay with you for five years. In the interim, the records of your summary offense can be seen by the public, including employers and schools and professional organizations considering your membership.

You must be prepared to during your job interview to explain your criminal record. If the incident involved only underage drinking, then that may not be damaging, but if there were other events that you would not like to discuss at all, you may want to work hard to avoid even getting a record of "under-aged drinking."

Characterization of Conviction.
Certain summary offenses sound better than others. Any record involving theft or alcohol will convey a negative image and more information than you want the public to know. It may be a good idea to plead down to a more generic crime such as "disorderly conduct," for example. But that option may not be offered unless you have counsel, because those with counsel certainly have at their side the legal expertise to appeal and get a trial de novo (on all issues) at the next level.

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