In many instances, you can petition for an expungement under California Penal Code section 1203.4. If granted, an expungement allows you to withdraw your guilty plea and reenter a plea of not guilty. Basically, it gets the case dismissed for many (but not all) purposes.
Why should you file for an expungement?
Well, assuming you are eligible, getting an expungement has the benefit of relieving you of the adverse effects of having a criminal conviction on your record. Are you looking for better job opportunities? Getting an expungement may greatly help your chances of securing that new job. If a potential employer runs a criminal background check on you, he or she will still see the case, but it will show that it has been dismissed. After an expungement, in many instances you can legally say that you have no convictions (assuming the case you got expunged was the only case you had).
Maybe you’re looking to find a new place to rent? Many landlords run criminal background checks before leasing their property. By getting that conviction expunged, you might improve your chances of securing that new place.
Can any conviction be expunged?
No. There are certain conditions that must be met to be eligible for an expungement. Those conditions are:
- You successfully completed probation for the offense (or had probation terminated early);
- You did not serve time in state prison (if you did serve time in prison, but could have served time in county jail instead had the crime occurred post Prop 47, or you successfully completed prison fire camp, you may still be eligible)
- You are not currently being charged with any other crimes;
- You are not currently on probation for another crime;
- You are not currently serving a sentence for another crime;
- The offense was not any of the following crimes
– Lewd acts on a child under 14 years of age
– Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life
– Any sex offense that requires you to be registered sex offender
– Escape from a secure perimeter within the previous 10 years
If you are looking to expunge your conviction, make sure you hire a quality, locally experienced, criminal defense law firm to maximize your chances of success. We are just one phone call away at (619) 295.3555.
The contents of this article and blog are meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.