Expungement Attorneys in California
Expungment in California
California, like some other states, defines expungement differently in that when you petition for an expungement in California your criminal record is not sealed or destroyed, your case is only basically reopened and then dismissed as not guilty.
If your petition for expungement is granted it will:
- A new entry is added to your court record showing the case has been dismissed.
- Allow you to answer on most, not all, applications for employment that you have not been convicted.
- Your conviction can no longer be used to impeach you if you have to testify as a witness, unless you are being tried for a subsequent offense.
- If you have a felony conviction, expungement is the first step in obtaining a pardon.
Being granted an expungement DOES NOT:
- Remove the conviction from your criminal record.
- Reinstate your right to possess firearms.
- Remove sex offender registration requirements. If you expungement is granted, registrants must then complete and file paperwork requesting a Certificate of Rehabilitation, when eligible. A Certificate of Rehabilitation will relieve specified sex offenders from further registration. This applies to both felony and misdemeanor convictions.
- Allow you to deny having a conviction on government issued licenses. Your conviction may also be considered and/or used to refuse or revoke government issued licenses and permits such as real estate licenses, teaching, bus drivers, security guards.
- Seal or destroy the court record from the public.
- Prevent the conviction from being used a “strike” to increase punishment on any subsequent convictions.
- Prevent the conviction from being used for impeachment purposes on any subsequent offenses.
- Prevent INS from using the conviction in determining removal or exclusion.
While each case is different, you are entitled to expunge your criminal record in California if:
- Convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense; AND
- Have successfully completed probation; AND
- Are not currently charged with any additional criminal offenses or serving any other criminal sentence or on probation.
- You also must have successfully completed your probation in its entirety (or obtained an early termination) including paying all fines and restitution, completed counseling, community service, etc.. You also can not have been charged with a probation violation. If you did violate your probation you may be entitled to a hearing to determine if you are eligible for expungement.
You are NOT ELIGIBLE to have your record expunged in California if:
- You were sentenced to state prison;
- Convicted of certain criminal offenses including sex offenses against children.
In California you are also eligible, although it is a separate process and requires separate filings, to have your criminal record sealed and destroyed. You are only eligible for this type of relief if:
- You were arrested by never had formal charges filed
- Your case was dismissed by the court
- You were acquitted by a jury following a jury trial.