Criminal Record Expungements

 In Blog

Having a criminal conviction on your record can come up during job applications or other background checks.  Save yourself the embarrassment and the hassle of having to explain your past.  A criminal record expungement may be just what you are looking for.

Being a criminal defense attorney, I am often asked about criminal record expungements and how to clean up a person’s criminal record.  It is amazing how many people with a criminal history do not even know that they have the option of having their record expunged.

First, what is an expungement?  An expungement will change the way your record reads and in some cases make the expunged conviction undiscoverable.  It is a common misconception that an expungement will completely remove a conviction from your criminal record.  The truth is that it really depends who is looking.  Most employers or people conducting a simple background check will not see the expunged conviction.  However, if you are applying to be a police officer, to join a state bar, or for any government job or job that will require a security clearance, the more extensive background check will show your expunged convictions.

In order to obtain a criminal record expungement, a motion under California Penal Code Section 1203.4 must be made.  The District Attorney must receive notice of the motion and has the opportunity to respond.  If granted, the expungement acts to withdraw the plea of guilty or no contest on the criminal record and replaces it with a plea of not guilty.

To be eligible for expungement a person must:

  • Been convicted of any crime and sentenced to probation or been convicted of a misdemeanor or infraction whether or not probation was served.
  • Finish serving probation and comply with all probation terms.
  • Allow one year to elapsed, during which time the sentence of the court was performed and complied with.
  • Not be under a sentence for any offense.
  • Since the pronouncement of judgment, live an honest and upright life.

For more information visit Probation Page.

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