Expungement is a post-conviction legal procedure that allows a person to be free of the majority of the “penalties and impairments” associated with a criminal conviction. It is available to a huge percentage of Californians who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime. Keep reading to find out if your case is likely eligible and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 to speak with a criminal defense attorney who can help you.
Criteria required to be eligible for expungement
If you meet the following criteria then you could be eligible for expungement: You successfully completed probation for your offense and you either did not serve time in state prison for your offense or spent time in state prison but would have served the remaining time in county jail under Proposition 47 following realignment.
Starting the process
To begin the expungement process, you will need to file a petition with the court in the county where you were convicted. The California Department of Justice has initiated the process of sealing and evaluating all historical marijuana convictions that are no longer deemed felonies, after the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Advantages of expungement
Having your criminal record wiped has a lot of advantages. These are some of them. Employers cannot discriminate against you when you apply for a job because of an expunged conviction. Obtaining a professional license may be easier and an expunged conviction cannot be used to impeach your credibility as a witness (unless you are being prosecuted for a separate crime).
If you are not a citizen, you may be able to avoid deportation or other immigration consequences. Importantly, while California abolished the “box” on employment applications, in which you would be obliged to tick a box if you had a prior conviction, your employer can still inquire about your criminal history once you have been offered a conditional position. If your criminal record has been wiped, you are not required to inform them about your convictions.
There are some things an expungement cannot do
Although there are several advantages to expungement, it does have certain drawbacks. If you’ve been convicted of a criminal charge, expungement will not restore your gun rights, nor will it remove the necessity to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors may use expunged convictions against you if you are charged with another offense, such as requesting an increased sentence. The revocation or suspension of your driver’s license will not be reversed by expungement. Furthermore, under California’s Three Strikes Rule, an erased conviction for a “strike” offense is still deemed a strike.
If you are ready to begin the process and find out what your options are, contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consultation.