California Penal Code section 1203.4
Since the dawn of the age of the computer, a person criminal history is open for almost anyone to see. This makes expungements very important because they allow a person who has leaned up their conduct to also clean up their record so that they are no unduly harassed by old mistakes often done when you were a kid.
At Lee Law Group understands this. We take on your expungements discreetly, confidentially and quickly so that your criminal record is expunged to the extent of the law.
How the Expungement process works.
California Penal Code (PC) section 1203.4, provides that once an individual's criminal record is expunged, the person is released from "all penalties and disabilities" arising out of the conviction. This allows you to state that "you have a clean criminal record."
Expungements allow you to obtain better employment and seek or keep California professional licenses and for joining many professional organizations. This relief gives you a new, fresh start from an otherwise questionable past. 1.1. Am I eligible to get a California Expungement?
As a basic rule, you are entitled to expunge your criminal records in California if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, and you:
1. Successfully completed probation, and
2. Are not currently charged with a criminal offense, on probation for a criminal offense or serving a sentence for a criminal offense. You must have successfully completed your probation in its entirety (or obtained an early termination of probation, discussed below).
If you got sent to California state prison--either at the time of judgment, or because of a probation violation--you do not qualify for an expungement. "Successfully completing your probation" means that you
1. Completed all the terms of your probation (that is, paid all fines and restitution, completed any counseling programs, community service, etc.),
2. Attended all required court appearances (either personally or through your attorney), and
3. Did not commit any new crimes while on probation. 1.2. Who is NOT Eligible to Get a California expungement? As we stated, you cannot expunge a conviction if you were sent to state prison. Beyond that, there are also certain criminal offenses in California that cannot be expunged. These include serious sex offenses committed against children, such as • Penal Code 286(c) PC California's law against sodomy with a child, • Penal Code 288 PC California's lewd acts with a child law, • Penal Code 288a (c) PC California's law against oral copulation with a child, and • Penal Code 261.5(d) PC California's statutory rape law which prohibits sexual intercourse between persons who are 21 years and older with persons younger than 1.3.
What If I Violated My Probation?
If you completed your probation without a violation, you are entitled to expunge your California criminal record. If you failed to successfully complete your probation and you received a probation violation you may still be eligible for an expungement. You may request a hearing to allow the court to determine whether you are nonetheless a good candidate for expungement. We at Lee Law Group will ask the court for this hearing on your behalf and will represent you at this hearing. At this hearing the court will consider several factors in determining if whether to grant or deny your petition for expungement.
Factors that the judge may consider include (but are not limited to): (1) your overall performance while on probation, (2) the seriousness of the underlying conviction, (3) your criminal history, and (4) any additional evidence you can provide to demonstrate why you are deserving of this relief, such as your opportunity to obtain a good job, the fact that you support your family, the fact that you have strong community ties, and so forth.
Overview of the Expungement Process
What an Expungement Can Do For You There are numerous benefits to obtaining a California expungement. The most significant include (but are not limited to): • helping you secure employment...Per California law, an employer may not (1) Discriminate against you for being involved in any arrest that didn't result in a conviction, (2) inquire about the fact that you suffered an arrest that didn't result in a conviction, (3) discriminate against you based on the fact that you have expunged convictions. An expungement will also: • Help you obtain a state professional license, • Possibly helping you avoid certain immigration consequences such as deportation. 2.2. What an Expungement Will NOT Do For You Unfortunately, there are also several limitations as to what an expungement can do.
For example, an expungement will not:
• Overturn a driver's license suspension or revocation
• Restore your California gun rights under Penal Code 29800 California's felon with a firearm law; or
• End your duty to register as a California sex offender under Penal Code 290
Expunged convictions may still be used as prior convictions to enhance sentencing (such as with multiple DUI convictions) and as "strikes" for purposes of California's three strikes law. 2.3. When Can I Apply for an Expungement? If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may petition the court to expunge your California criminal record as soon as you have completed probation, or as soon as an early termination of probation is granted.
Often theLee Law Group can petition the court for an expungement at the same time we move for an early termination of probation. 2.4. Sealing and Destroying Records Many people who contact us about expungements also wish to "seal and destroy" adult and juvenile criminal records. Sealing and destroying arrest records is a totally different process from expunging records of criminal convictions.
Concerning adult records, you may be entitled to have your arrest records sealed and destroyed if (1) you were arrested, but the prosecutor never filed criminal charges, (2) had your case dismissed in court, or (3) were acquitted by a jury following a jury trial, Sealing California juvenile court records provides you with the same benefits. You qualify for this relief if (1) you are currently an adult, or the jurisdiction of the juvenile court terminated at least five years ago, (2) as an adult, you have not been convicted of any crimes of moral turpitude (that is, a crime involving dishonesty or immoral behavior), or (3) there is no pending civil litigation based on the juvenile incident.
Once the judge grants your motion to seal and destroy your records, the arrest record is ordered sealed for 3 years and destroyed thereafter.
Possible Defenses Contact the Lee Law Group for advice and legal work on your expungements. At the Lee Law Group we can often expedite the expungement process by "packaging" a number of motions into one. The most common example of this includes (i) asking the court to grant an early termination of probation, (which the court has the option of granting as long as you are in compliance with the terms of your probation at the time the early termination is requested); (ii) Reduce a felony to a misdemeanor, if required (allowed in cases where the felony offense could have been filed as either a felony or a misdemeanor), and (iii) expunge your conviction.
As stated, the Lee Law Group can do this all in one motion and thus at only one hearing. Furthermore, in cases where an expungement may not help such as in cases of reinstating your gun rights or removing your sex-offender status or eliminating ‘Strikes’ from your criminal record, or in cases where you just are not eligible for an expungement, the Lee Law Group can often assist you through alternative avenues of post-conviction relief such as obtaining a California Certificate of Rehabilitation or a California Governor's Pardon.
SUSPECTED OR CHARGED WITH EXPUNGEMENTS? CONTACT THE LEE LAW GROUP AND WE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU