There was a time when being a felon was not a good thing, but one’s criminal record didn’t haunt you. This has changed over the last five years as background checks have become popular, inexpensive and easy to obtain. A recent study found that fully 8 out of every 10 companies now run background checks on potential employees as a part of their standard due diligence inquiry into the candidates. Who do you think is going to get the job – the person with no criminal record or the one with the felony? The answer should be obvious. It isn’t the person with the criminal record.
It is often said everyone gets a second chance in America. This is actually an accurate statement when it comes to clearing a felony from your record. As a criminal law defense firm, we’ve been able to use section 1203.4 of the California criminal code to get felonies expunged from the record of our clients. This section actually sets forth how a felon can get a second chance in California, which is rather remarkable when you think about it.
The first thing to understand about this procedure is your record is not being sealed. This is not a legal loophole. When we file a motion for expungement, the court will actually reopen your original case. If it finds that the requirements called for in section 1203.4 are met, then the court will dismiss the original action and the conviction will be thrown out. This is incredibly important because you will be able to check the “no” box for the question of whether you have been convicted of a crime on employment applications and other documents such as mortgage applications. We are really talking about starting your life over with a clean sheet.
So, how does the expungement process work? As mentioned above, we will file an application with the court to have your felony set aside. The court will reopen the original file and the district attorney’s office will be notified as well. We will then prepare evidence and, potentially, witnesses to establish the following findings required by the law.
- When previously convicted, you did not spend time in state prison. Keep in mind that a county jail is not considered a state prison for the purpose of an expungement.
- You paid all fines and restitution ordered by the court in the original case.
- All probationary matters were complied with including, but not limited to, taking ordered classes, doing community service and whatever else the underlying court ordered.
- You never violated the terms of your probation, if any.
- You are not currently charged with any other criminal matter.
You should keep in mind that the district attorney’s office will most likely oppose the move to expunge your felony. Many attorneys working with the D.A.’s office have political aspirations, and they do not want to be viewed as being soft on crime. Given this, it is vital that you have experienced legal counsel that can put the representative from the D.A.’s office in their place. That’s where we come in.
Getting a felony expunged from your record is one of the most important steps you will take in your life. That being said, the state doesn’t make it an easy thing to do. The law is complex and there are numerous deadlines that must be complied with or the action will be dismissed. For instance, the failure to give the prosecuting attorney notice in strict compliance with the service rules after filing the petition to expunge will result in the court rejecting it. This is why you need legal counsel to get you through the process.
We’ve been providing felony expungement representation for years, so we know the tricks of the trade when it comes to producing a successful result. If you are ready to get a clean start on life, stop procrastinating. Contact us today at 800-628-0285 for an initial consultation that can set you on the road to a new life.