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