How To Clean Up Your Criminal Record In California

[playht_listen_button]This country was founded on providing people with second chances. This principle speaks to the idea that once you have paid the price for your crime, it should not continue to affect you indefinitely. If you were convicted of a crime in California, and completed your sentence, then you deserve the opportunity to move on with your life. While not all convictions will be eligible, certain offenses do qualify to be reclassified or removed entirely from your criminal history. Here’s more on how to clean up your criminal record in California, and what steps you can take to streamline the process.

What Is Expungement?

In California, expungement is the legal process of clearing your criminal record. Not all offenses are eligible for expungement, such as certain felony offenses (e.g. murder). For example, if your conviction required you to serve time in a state prison, you may not be eligible for expungement.

Moreover, if your criminal charges have not been resolved, or you have not completed the requirements of your sentence (e.g. probation, payment of fines, community service), then you will not be eligible for expungement.

In order to receive an expungement, you must petition the court. A petition is a legal filing that will be decided at the discretion of the court. In other words, a petition is a formal request for the court to do something for you – and the court maintains the power to grant or deny your request.

Expungement And Proposition 47

Passed in 2014,  reduces the penalties for specific drug crimes in California. What this means is that certain drug offenses that were considered felonies are now reclassified as misdemeanors. This law has the effect of making a conviction that originally did not qualify for expungement, to now be eligible for reclassification and removal from your record. Specifically, certain marijuana possession convictions that were sentenced as felonies can now be changed to misdemeanor convictions under Proposition 47.

Can An Employer See My Conviction After Getting An Expungement?

If you successfully get a conviction expunged, employers will not be able to see the offense that has been removed from your record. In fact, once your expungement is complete, and provided that you do not have any additional convictions on your record, then you may be legally permitted to answer “no” if you are asked by a potential employer if you have a criminal record.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Get My Record Expunged?

Because expungement involves court filings and an understanding of the controlling laws in The Golden State, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer to complete your expungement. Your lawyer will draft the documents necessary and make the appropriate arguments in order for your petition to be granted. Because only certain convictions can be expunged, consulting with a lawyer will be the best way to determine if your conviction is eligible.

It is the mission of My Rights Law -Criminal & DUI Attorneys to defend good people against criminal charges, and to help them move on with their lives without having to be bogged down by a thorny criminal record. We will do everything in our power to help you get your record erased. To learn more about how My Rights Law can help you with an expungement, reach out to us by calling (888) 702-8882 or by contacting us online.