Orange County Expungement Attorney
It is always advisable to seek the aid of an experienced California defense attorney to expunge your criminal record. In California, an expungement of a person’s criminal record effectively releases a person from "all penalties and disabilities" stemming from a conviction. Expungement of criminal records is ruled by Sections 1203.3 and 1203.4 of the California Penal Code.
What is California Expungement?
In California, an expungement will dismiss and set aside a criminal conviction, thereby releasing the defendant from “all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense” for which the person was convicted. An expungement, however, does not erase a person’s criminal record. While a conviction will still be present on a record, an expungement updates the record to show that the case was ultimately dismissed against the defendant upon successful completion of probation and no future charges. Similarly, while a background check will still yield the conviction, upon expungement, a background check will also reveal that the defendant completed probation and the conviction has been set aside.
Who is eligible for expungement in California?
There are several requirements that a defendant must meet to be entitled to expungement in California. To have the right to expunge a criminal conviction a person must:
- Complete the terms of their probation. This means that the terms of probation must have been served out and that the defendant has attended meetings, counseling programs, paid fines and restitution, completed community service, etc. Even if a person has not fulfilled the terms of their probation, the judge has the discretion to expunge the defendant’s record, but the defendant is not entitled to expungement.
- Not be on probation for another criminal offense,
- Not be presently charged with another criminal offense, and
- Not be serving a sentence for another criminal offense.
There are also circumstances that prevent expungement of a criminal conviction including:
- The conviction resulted in a sentence to a state prison
- The conviction of certain serious sexual offenses against children
What expungement can and cannot accomplish
Expungement of a criminal record can be very valuable for any person. It can be especially helpful to those currently in the labor market, applying for a state professional license, testifying in court, and facing immigration problems. If a criminal conviction has been expunged, under California law, a prospective employer may not use that conviction in hiring or promotion decisions. When asked at an interview or on a job application whether you have prior convictions after they have been expunged, you may legally answer that you do not have prior convictions. An expunged conviction may also make it easier to obtain a state license. Additionally, an immigrant with a conviction could face deportation, making expungement advisable when possible.
However, an expungement will not be able to help you overturn a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, restore you rights to carry weapons in California, or end your duties as a sex offender.
Expungement at the Law Office of Lauren K. Johnson
Our criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Lauren K. Johnson will provide you with experienced legal help in obtaining an expungement of your criminal convictions. A conviction on your criminal record could hurt you in seeking a new job or state license and may lead to problems in your current job. Please contact our office or send us a message to speak to a qualified attorney who can help in this situation.