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  1. #1
    Joe T is offline Junior Member
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    Jun 2008
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    PA: will a disorderly conduct/summary offense stay on my record; can it be removed?

    What is the name of your state? PA

    I was unable to find an available restroom in Pittsburgh recently and could not hold it. I found the most concealed area I could outside. Unfortunately, an undercover officer followed me. I was not drunk, was not disorderly and was well behaved with the arresting officers. The officers even commented that I was well behaved and would get a lenient treatment by the judge. I received a disorderly conduct summary offense charge for public urination. I had an attorney plead my case with the judge. The paperwork was written up wrong as a misdemeanor and the wrong codes were marked and the attorney tried to have the charge dismissed. The judge indicated that in his jurisdiction all such cases were classified as disorderly conduct. The attorney then entered a guilty plea -- so I was found guilty of a disorderly conduct - summary offense for public urination.

    Will this stay permanently on my record and will it show up on a full background check?

    Is there a way to remove it by taking a class or some other step? -- like the ARD program is used for other offenses?
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
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    Q: Will this stay permanently on my record and will it show up on a full background check?

    A: Yes and it is possible.


    Q: Is there a way to remove it by taking a class or some other step? -- like the ARD program is used for other offenses?

    A: What reason do you have for wanting this removal from your record?
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Your plea hurts your chances...

    Why did you plead guilty?

    The attorney then entered a guilty plea
    If you did not want a guilty verdict, don't plead guilty.

    A guilty plea is an admission.


    Did your attorney not honor your wishes? Did you not understand the proceedings?
  4. #4
    Joe T is offline Junior Member
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    To answer the questions just posted:

    Q: Did your attorney not honor your wishes? Did you not understand the proceedings?

    - The hearing was by phone and moved very quickly. The attorney thought that the charge could be contested as being wrongly written up. He said he was aiming to have the fine dropped and to get a reduced sentence like community service. The judge indicated that the local interpretation of how the ticket should be written up was different and that this was how charges were to be written -- that the charge was a summary offense but listed as disorderly conduct. The attorney then said the plea was guilty but did not make a case for alternative sentencing unfortunately. The judge waived the fine but applied court costs and guilty sentencing.

    Q: What reason do you have for wanting this removal from your record?

    - It obviously does not look good to have this show up on background checks that may be done by potential employers. Was it possible during the hearing to have requested an alternative sentence like taking a class or community service to get a reduced charge or waiver of the sentence? Is it possible to appeal for this to be removed from the record by doing community service or by some other means now?

    I'm talking to the attorney again on monday but wanted to get other opinions on options. Your help is greatly apppreciated.
  5. #5
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    Whether or not anything WAS possible is now irrelevant as the judge has already made the sentence. Whether or not you agree with what your lawyer did is also moot as you agreed to let him represent you. I have to say, things are not looking good for you.

    ARD is usually something offered by the courts as a part of a plea bargain, and not really something you can attempt to take advantage of after the sentence has been imposed.
  6. #6
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    Convictions stay forever in PA (until you are 70 or dead).
    Summary offenses escape a lot of background checks however.

    I don't know what you think is "reduced" from a summary disorderly conduct. It's pretty much the smallest criminal offense you can be charged with in PA.

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