You will likely need to petition the Court to expunge any reference of the 302 from the records and expunge any related juvenile crimes that were charged with the 302 (if any were)
Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.
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There are several different options available, depending on whether or not PA's Mental Health and Procedure Act was complied with and whether there was a basis for the 302. Since an individual is not provided a hearing, the ability to submit evidence or cross-examine witnesses (all of which violate Due Process, in my opinion), there is the ability to challenge the sufficiency of the commitment. This generally requires obtaining all the records relating to the commitment, if they still exist, as well as the actual 302 Petition.
The second avenue is if you can prove to the court that you do not pose a threat to yourself or others in possession of a firearm. Although the statute does not require it, you would need MMPI testing to be performed by a psychologist, after reviewing all of your medical records. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that even if you challenge just the sufficiency of the 302 commitment or that your rights were violated under the Mental Health and Procedures Act, the Court is going to want a psychiatric evaluation, because of current national events.
Few attorneys understand how to handle these matters and fail to serve a copy of the Petition on the Pennsylvania State Police. The PSP is an indispensable party that must be served. I can also tell you, from experience, that the PSP will ALWAYS fight any Petition that is filed. How hard they fight it will depend on a bunch of factors, which is why it is important that you hire an attorney that has handled such matters previously and knows the procedures.
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