Articles Posted in Record Expungements

Expungement is a legal process by which prior criminal convictions are cleared from one’s criminal record. The motivation for expunging past convictions is removing the kind of barriers a negative criminal history places before many educational and employment opportunities. Many schools and employers will decline to admit or hire an individual with a criminal record, especially if it contains felony convictions. Fortunately, the law has put in place a mechanism, albeit subject to a number of requirements, for clearing one’s criminal record: expungement. Individuals interested in expunging criminal convictions from their record for the sake of the better future that education and employment brings will benefit from speaking with an experienced California expungement attorney about their specific circumstances.

Understanding the Requirements for Expungement in California

In California, expungement is governed by Penal Code 1203.4. The ability of this process to clear one’s criminal record of prior convictions seems almost too good to be true. Though expungement is a real legal process that has helped many individuals on the way to obtaining the educational and employment opportunities they need for a better future, there are a number of important requirements that must be understood. First, expungement is not available to individuals who were sent to state prison following conviction, or later as the result of a probation violation. Expungement, whether for a misdemeanor and felony conviction, is only available to individuals who were not sent to state prison, who successfully completed probation, and were not convicted of one of four enumerated crimes that shall never be expunged. To successfully complete probation is to abide by and complete all terms of probation, including fines, counseling, community service, and any other restitution ordered by the court.  Additional, successful completion of probation requires the attendance of all required court appearances, either personally or through one’s attorney. Finally, as common sense dictates, successful probation requires that one does not commit any new crimes while on probation.

Whether you have a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction conviction, you can petition the court to expunge your criminal record. However, it is a common misunderstanding in California that getting a California Expungement means you get your criminal record completely destroyed or tossed in the trash. That is far from the truth.

California Expungements pursuant to California Penal Code 1203.4 allow those convicted of a crime to re-open their old conviction and change their guilty plea to a not guilty one. The court then dismisses the case so you can truthfully and legally say you were never convicted of the crime that was charged.

What Should I Know When Applying for a California Expungement?

Ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felon and have had – or still have – trouble finding a job because of it? Not many employers are willing to look past a “yes” after asking if you’ve ever been convicted; luckily, you have an option. The state of California has a legal procedure put into place to “expunge” your criminal history; most of it, that is. The word expunge in it’s definitive form means to erase or get rid of completely, which isn’t exactly what it means in the legal sense of the word. You might be asking, “If an expungement doesn’t erase everything completely, then what does it do?” Well my friend, more than you might think; it restores a myriad of benefits. With an expungement, a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” can be changed to a plea of “not guilty”! As a result, your case is then dismissed by the court and all records of your case will reflect it. When granted an expungement, you can write on an application for employment that you have never been convicted – except for government jobs. Expungements can also improve credit ratings, help with housing, loan applications and restore student loan qualifications. There are some things, however, an expungement cannot do, such as erase your record completely, restore a suspended driver’s license and reinstate firearm rights. With the help of our law firm, applying for an expungement is simple; we do the work and the payout is infinite. It’s an affordable option put in place to help those with unfortunate mistakes in their past start working on a different path and be able to finally work hard to accomplish goals. The process of applying for and receiving and expungement is fairly simple with the help of a great lawyer; please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation or any questions you might have!