Expungement law (Penal Code Section 1203.4) provides in part that; “a petitioner shall be allowed by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty or if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty and in either case, it shall dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense that he or she has been convicted of.”
After an expungement, if Private Employers ask whether you have ever been found guilty of a crime, you can answer with a “NO." When it comes to questions by Government Employers or Government Licensing Applications on whether you have ever been convicted of a crime, you have to disclose the expunged case and let it be noted that the conviction has been expunged in the "explanation/further details" section on the application.
There are various benefits to obtaining an Expungement in California. The most significant include (but are not limited to):
Helping you secure employment as Per the California law. An employer will not in any case:
helping you obtain a state professional license, preventing any expunged prior convictions from being used to impeach your credibility as a witness in court (not unless you are the defendant being prosecuted in the subsequent case), helping you avoid certain immigration consequences such as deportation.
What an expungement can do for you
There are various benefits to obtaining a California expungement. The most significant include (but are not limited to):
1. Discriminate against you for being involved in any arrest that didn't result in a conviction.
2. Inquire about the fact that you suffered an arrest that didn't result in a conviction.
3. Discriminate against you based on the fact that you have expunged convictions.
What an expungement will NOT do for you
In addition, expunged convictions may still be used as prior convictions to enhance sentencing ( with multiple DUI convictions) and as "strikes" for purposes of California's three-strikes law. California's three-strikes law is a sentencing scheme that adds significant time to the prison sentences of certain repeat offenders convicted of felonies. BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTATION NOW
The steps include:
But even if you follow all of this step and the judge grants your expungement there are still restrictions and limitations as to what an expungement will ultimately do for you.
When can I apply for an expungement?
If you meet the other eligibility requirements, you may petition the court to expunge your California criminal record as soon as you are through with probation, or as soon as an early termination of probation is granted. Many times, your California criminal defense lawyer can speed up the expungement process by "packaging" a number of motions into one. The most common example of this expeditions include asking the court to:
Sealing and destroying records
Sealing and destroying arrest records is a totally different process from expunging records of criminal convictions. If
You may be entitled to have your arrest records sealed and destroyed. This relief allows you to state in all honesty that you have never been arrested for a crime (since a judge has to declare you factually innocent before he/she grants this type of motion).
Sealing California juvenile court records provides you with the same benefits. You qualify for this relief if:
Once the judge grants your motion to seal and destroy your records, the arrest record is ordered sealed for 3 years and destroyed thereafter.
For you to be eligible for an expungement you must have successfully completed probation (no violations or arrests should have been made while you were on probation) and you must not be facing any new charges.
You're entitled to expunge your criminal records in California if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense and you:
You must have successfully completed your probation to its full term (or obtained an early termination of probation). If you were sent to California state prison at the time of judgment, or because of a probation violation, you do not qualify for an expungement.
To successfully complete your probation means that:
You cannot use an expungement for a conviction if you were sent to state prison regardless if it was a Misdemeanor or a Felony. Apart from that, there are also certain criminal offenses in California that cannot be expunged. These include serious sex offenses committed against children, such as:
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