Expungements: Cleaning Up Your Record

At one time, your criminal record was technically public but rarely accessed by parties outside of law enforcement. Then criminal court records started appearing in national databases, allowing potential employers, professional groups, and licensing agencies to discover it in seconds. This is a serious handicap, given the fact that most employers are insisting on candidates with a clean criminal record.

The good news is that in certain cases it is not too difficult to clean up your California criminal records, also known as a “dismissal.” Once this is accomplished, California Penal Code 1203.4 confirms that you are released from ‘all penalties and disabilities’ created by the original conviction.

Who is Eligible?

You may expunge your criminal record if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense that does not automatically render you ineligible for an expungement. If you received probation the following must also apply:

  • You completed probation successfully OR were given early release
  • All fines, restitutions, and other required compensation have been paid
  • You are not currently facing charges, on probation, or incarcerated for a criminal offense

If your conviction was for a misdemeanor or infraction and you were not sentenced to probation, you may apply for an expungement if you meet the following criteria:

  • At least one year has passed since you were convicted
  • You complied with the terms and conditions of your sentence
  • You are not currently facing charges, on probation, or incarcerated for a criminal offense
  • You have been honest and law-abiding since your conviction

If you did not complete your probation, you may still have a chance. A special hearing will be held by the court to decide if you are a viable candidate for expungement. The judge will consider factors such as your criminal history, the seriousness of the original conviction, and your overall conduct during probation. You will also be required to demonstrate why you deserve a fresh start, such as strong community ties, dedicated support of your family, and ability to get a good job.

Who is NOT Eligible?

If you were sentenced to the California state prison at the conclusion of your original proceeding or sent there after a probation violation, you do not qualify for an expungement. There are also crimes that can’t be expunged, such as serious sex offenses against children.

Misdemeanors under Vehicle Code section 42002.1 and infractions under Vehicle Code section 42001 also cannot be expunged.

If you or a loved one require assistance with cleaning up your criminal record in California, contact The Nieves Law Firm, APC today. Jo-Anna Nieves and her team will apply their expertise and experience in record clearing and expungement laws to your situation and fight to help you get the fresh start you deserve. Initial consultations are always free, so call 510-779-2082 or contact us here.

Our expungement lawyers at The Nieves Law Firm are serving clients in Oakland, CA and surrounding areas, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Solano and San Francisco counties. Call at (510) 779-2082 for a Free Consultation and speak to our expungement attorneys.