Expungement of a Criminal Record in California
The California Penal Code Section 1203.4 allows anyone who meets certain criteria to have their record expunged by filing a petition for dismissal. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony but did not receive a state prison sentence, you are most likely eligible to have your criminal record expunged. If you meet the requirements, the court will dismiss the conviction, and your criminal record will reflect that fact.
If you are on probation, you must either complete your probation or petition to have your probation terminated early before filing. If you want a felony conviction removed from your record, you must first have it reduced to a misdemeanor before petitioning for dismissal. Rape and sexual assault against minors are never grounds for dismissal.
Do I meet the requirements?
If you were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and were sentenced to probation, the court will dismiss your conviction if you: (1) completed probation or were released early; (2) paid all fines and restitution due; (3) are not on probation for another offense; and (4) are not currently charged with a separate offense.
If you were convicted of a misdemeanor but did not receive probation, the court will dismiss your conviction if: (1) a year has passed since your conviction; (2) you have fully complied with your sentence; (3) you are not on probation for another offense; and (4) you have not broken the law since your conviction.
In some cases, whether or not you qualify is less clear, and the court will use its discretion. This can happen if you did not complete your probation or if you were convicted of a vehicular offense such as DUI or hit and run. In these cases, your dismissal may still be granted if you have paid your fines and are not serving time for, on probation for, or charged with another offense.
What are the ramifications of expungement?
One of the primary advantages of expungement is that private employers cannot question you about dismissed convictions. It does not, however, exempt you from disclosing a conviction on an application to run for public office or to be licensed by a state agency. However, if you answer “yes” to the question, California agencies are required to treat you as if you have never been convicted.
It is critical to understand all of the restrictions associated with expunging your record. The dismissed conviction can still be used to increase the penalties for subsequent offenses. If you had a felony conviction overturned, you are still prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm under California law. The revocation or suspension of your license will not be affected by the dismissal of a DUI conviction.
California Sex Offender Registry Removal
New California Bill SB384 Ends Lifetime Sex Offender Registration For Nearly 90% Of Current Sex Offenders
Remove Your Name From the California Sex Offender Database. New California Law allows certain sex offenders to have their name legally and permanently removed from public and police databases. In October 2017, former California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB384, a new law that allows a majority of sex offenders to petition for the removal of their name from both public and police databases. The only catch is it must have been 10 or 20 years since the sex offense and subsequent sentencing. It is believed this new law, which took effect July 1, 2021, affects up to 100,000 current sex offenders.
Normally, registration as a sex offender was a lifetime requirement, however with this new California law you can now legally petition for the permanent removal of your name from the sex offender database. We will assist you with the entire process to ensure the best possible outcome.
You won’t automatically benefit from this law if it applies to you, for the best and most expedited resolution to removing your name from the sex offender database you should work with a legal professional.
Where do I begin?
Contact the attorney who handled your case if possible to begin the process of having your record expunged. Otherwise, the California court system provides a wealth of resources for people seeking to have prior convictions overturned.