(951) 667-5293

Orange County:

(714) 758-5293

who you hire can make all the difference

Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

request a free consultation
  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

Request Consultation

request a free confidential consultation

*all fields are required
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

California Expungement Laws

Posted in Expungement,Uncategorized on March 27, 2019

Criminal convictions can have a deep impact on your life in California. If you have a conviction on your record, you can have trouble finding a place to work, a place to live, and even have some of your rights restricted by the court. However, a solution is available to help you get back on your feet even after a criminal conviction: expungement.

What Is Expungement?

In the state of California, expungement essentially reopens your criminal conviction and changes its status to a dismissal. As a result, you can truthfully state to employers, landlords, and other authorities that you have not received a criminal conviction. California expungement does not destroy your criminal record. Instead, it simply hides your record from the public and from certain background checks.

Who Can Expunge Their Records in California?

Only certain former convicts can expunge their records in California, including those convicted of both felonies and misdemeanors. An expungement lawyer can expunge your criminal record in California if you meet the following criteria.

  • You received your conviction in state court, not federal court.
  • You did not go to state prison.
  • You went to state prison, but you could have served time in county jail if you committed the crime after the passage of Realignment in Proposition 47.
  • You may be eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation and expungement.
  • You completed probation or you received an early termination of your probation through a petition.
  • You satisfied all of your additional conviction requirements, including certain classes or community service obligations.
  • You are not currently facing charges for another criminal offense.

Who Isn’t Eligible for Expungement?

If you meet any of the following criteria, you cannot expunge your records in the state of California.

  • You are facing charges for a criminal offense.
  • You are on probation for a criminal offense.
  • You are currently serving a sentence for a criminal offense.
  • Your conviction involves certain sex crimes against children.

If you meet any of the criteria barring you from expungement, you can find relief from your conviction in other ways. You can seek a California governor’s pardon, you can receive a commutation of your prison sentence, or you can obtain a certificate of rehabilitation. Contact a California defense attorney to discuss your legal options.

Dismissal vs Expungement

The term expungement in California law is a bit of a misnomer. In other states, expungement means that the state destroys the criminal record. However, California does not destroy your conviction from the state record – the state simply removes the record so that the public cannot see it. You can state truthfully that you have not received a criminal conviction, but your conviction will remain on record in some databases.

How Do You Request Expungement in California?

First, you should hire a defense attorney to guide you through the expungement process. You will have to file paperwork for expungement and pay filing fees to the California courts. Next, the courts will send your request to the prosecutor’s office and the prosecutor will verify your eligibility for expungement. After the verification the court may require you to attend an expungement hearing.

If you are seeking expungement for a misdemeanor or infraction, you can petition for expungement after you satisfy your sentence. If you are petitioning for a felony expungement, you will first petition to reduce your sentence to a misdemeanor. After this process is successful, you can file for expungement.

To engage in this process, you should hire an attorney. Your attorney will ensure that you file all necessary paperwork correctly, and ensure that you receive accurate representation during your expungement hearings. For best results with your California expungement, obtain the services of a defense attorney to guide you through the process.