Business Bans PA Woman Because of Criminal Conviction

The impact of a criminal record can touch many aspects of one’s life: employment, family relationships, and a loss of some freedoms. But one Pennsylvania woman was surprised recently when she discovered that she had been banned from Airbnb after a background check. The background check flagged a criminal conviction for opiate possession 9 years earlier. Does she have recourse?

In some circumstances, you can, in fact, appeal a Pennsylvania criminal conviction if you meet certain criteria. You must currently be serving a sentence or on probation or parole. You also must be able to prove that errors led to your conviction. For example, your attorney was ineffective, your rights were obstructed, or new evidence would have changed the outcome. You typically have one year from the judgment to file.

In addition, a conviction can sometimes be overturned due to mistakes. For example, a driver suspected of driving under the influence had charges dropped because he did not speak English and did not understand the police officer’s consent warnings. In another case, officers searched a vehicle due to the smell of marijuana and found an unlicensed firearm. Since the driver had a medical marijuana card, which is legal in Pennsylvania, the officers had no cause to search the vehicle. The case was dropped.

Criminal conviction appeal cases can be complicated and confusing. But it can be frustrating to be banned from businesses due to that background. If you live with a criminal conviction and would like to consider an appeal, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania that may be able to help you overturn the conviction.