California Expungement Law
Each state has its own expungement law; the law for California is Penal Code 1203.4. It is important to hire a San Clemente attorney for your expungement case because this Penal Code can get very complex. Each case is different, which means that some crimes will qualify and others won’t.
Under California Law, the prosecutor must be notified of the expungement application at least 15 days before the hearing. This allows them to prepare an argument against your case. If they decide to bring up objections, you will be required to attend a hearing. An attorney will help ensure your case is handled correctly, especially if the prosecutor presents any objections.
The are various options for expungements, including:
- Expunge convictions
- Reduce a felony to a misdemeanor
- Early closure of probation sentence
- Purging non-trafficking marijuana records
- Destruction of and sealing a juvenile record
- DUI case expungement
Anyone convicted of a crime and has completed their sentence or was granted early release from probation is eligible for expungement. There are a few eligibility requirements for an expungement. These requirements include:
- You must have fulfilled all of your probation conditions (settled fines and restitution, attended counseling, finished community service)
- You cannot currently be imprisoned, have any other charges against you, or on probation for another criminal offense.
If you are still on probation, you can obtain an Early Termination of Probation with help from one of our San Clemente attorneys to qualify for expungement. This is relatively simple with help from an attorney as long as you have completed the terms of probation and have valid reasons to justify the termination of probation. These reasons could include employment limitations or restrictions from necessary travel. Most of the time, you will often have to have completed 12-18 months of probations to be considered for Early Termination of Probation.
Ineligible Persons For Expungement
Anyone who served time in state prison, violated their probation terms, or were convicted of sex offenses against a child are not eligible for expungement. This includes sodomy, oral copulation, or sexual intercourse between someone 21 years or older with someone under the age of 16.
Step 1: Preparation
The first step is to hire an attorney to help you prepare your motion for expungement. They will help you file all of the paperwork correctly and prepare a case supporting your expungement if the prosecutor raises objections.
Step 2: File
The next step is the file the motion with a California state court. A judge will be assigned to the case and assess your petition for expungement. They will then decide if you are eligible or if there will be a hearing.
Step 3: Present
Next, if there is a hearing, you will be required to present your case in court. This will require you to argue why you should be accepted for expungement. Your San Clemente attorney will be able to help you with this to ensure a successful expungement.
Step 4: Expunge
If the motion is successful, the court will file your expungement and remove the conviction from your record. This will erase the conviction from any background checks in the future.
There are a few limitations to successful expungements. These limitations include:
- They do not restore a revoked or suspended driver’s license
- They will not restore your right to possess firearms
- Registered sex offenders will be required to register under Penal Code 290 PC
- If you are convicted of another crime in the future, your expunged conviction can still be used to increase your sentence
California’s Certificate of Rehabilitation and California’s Governor’s Pardon allow some relief to these issues with help from an expungement attorney.
How Long Does It Take?
The expungement process can take anywhere from 2 to 8 months. With help from a San Clemente attorney, the process can be sped up by combining motions. This includes packaging an expungement motion with early terminations of probation or reducing a felony to a misdemeanor. The cost of this process usually starts at $120 for court fees.
Benefits Of Expungement
Successfully expunging a conviction on your criminal record comes with multiple benefits that will result in an overall better standard of living. These benefits include:
- Increased employment opportunities
- Higher eligibility for state professional licenses
- Honestly and legally answer “No” when asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime
- Better housing opportunities
- More educational opportunities
Contact Us Today
If you have a criminal record weighing you down, give one of our attorneys a call today at (657) 217-2799 or take our free online expungement assessment to see if you are eligible. Our attorneys can help you successfully expunge your conviction to increase your opportunities to secure a brighter future.