A criminal record can ruin your life. It can make it difficult to find a job or advance in your career. It can impact your ability to get into college, apply for a loan, or rent an apartment. Even a person with only minor offenses can feel the negative effects. Luckily, in California your records can be cleaned up through the process of expungement.
California Penal Code §1203.4:
What does it mean to “expunge” a criminal record?
Expungement of a criminal offense means that the court can take a past plea or a guilty verdict and mark it instead as “dismissed,” so that there is no longer a conviction on your record. To do this, the court will re-open your case, withdraw the plea or verdict, dismiss the charges, and re-close your case. Once this is done, the case will still exist, but an employer who searches for it, for example, will see that the case was dismissed instead of seeing a guilty verdict or plea.
Only certain types of cases are eligible for expungement, but unless you spent time in state prison or were convicted of certain serious sex offenses, it is likely your case can be expunged. Cases that can be expunged include:
- Felonies that could have been charged as misdemeanors (known as “wobblers”)
- Sentences that included jail time, probation, and/or a fine
If you are seeking to have a felony expunged, you will first need to petition the court to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. Once this is done you can begin the process of seeking to have the records expunged. Don Ho Law has the experience you need to navigate this complex process, and will work passionately on your behalf.
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