top of page

Are You The Victim of a Crime? Your Rights Have Changed!

Pennsylvania recently amended its Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA). The amendments to CHRIA will provide victims of crimes and their legal representatives access to criminal investigative records for the purposes of litigating a potential, or ongoing, civil suit in Pennsylvania.


On November 3, 2022, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 134 of 2022, which amended the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA), to implement a new statutory process by which victims of crimes and defendants in certain civil actions can obtain criminal history investigative information gathered by law enforcement agencies. Th Act went into effect today, May 2, 2023, and has a significant impacts access to law enforcement records.

The important points to the amended statute:

  • Provides a process by which certain individuals may request criminal history investigative information from municipalities and law enforcement agencies.

  • It is an independent statutory scheme implemented to provide crime victims and certain defendants in a civil action a definitive, stand-alone right to access criminal history investigative information—information that is generally not subject to access.

  • Provides access to records for victims of crimes even before the filing of a lawsuit in Court in Pennsylvania. Even defendants will be entitled to access after a civil action is pending only.

  • A request must include or comply with the following:

    • A sufficiently specific description of the information sought.

    • A statement by the requester (or the requester’s representative), made subject to the penalties of unsworn falsification to authorities, that the information requested (i) is directly related to a civil action pending in Pennsylvania, or (ii) if the requester is a crime victim, is necessary to the investigation or preparation of a civil action in Pennsylvania.

    • Submitted to the municipality or law enforcement agency via personal service or certified mail with receipt. (Not email).

  • Requests must be responded to within 60 days from the date of receipt of the request or by the date identified by the requester, whichever is later.

  • Some exemptions to disclosure or information does exist certain personal information, including without limitation, social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, financial information, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

  • The Act authorizes municipalities and law enforcement agencies to redact or deny access to requested information under certain circumstances.



Featured Posts

Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.

Recent Posts

Archive

Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page