Expungements

What exactly is an Expungement?
An expungement is an order from the Court stating that a conviction be set aside, a plea of not guilty be entered, and the case be dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4

Who is Eligible for an Expungement? 
In order to get an expungmement you must be an adult who was granted probation and you succesfully completed probation either by fulfilling the conditions of probation or being discharged early.  Additionally, all fines, fees and any restitution must be paid off before an expungement will be ordered. 

What will the Expungement do for me?
Despite popular belief the expungement does not make your case “go away” completely. Your case will remain public record, but the status of your case will indicate that the case was dismissed instead of indicating that you were found guilty.  The granting of an expungement will allow you to lawfully answer on job applications that you have not been convicted. *If, however, you are applying for a government job or a job which requires a government-issued license, certificate or permit, or a job which involves a security clearance, the conviction will be discovered –– in such cases, you should disclose the conviction and it’s expungement and often the expungement will result in the granting of a license that would otherwise not have been issued to you.  Additionally, if you desire to get a Governor’s pardon the expungement will be the first step in receiving a pardon.

An Expugement WILL NOT however, remove the conviction from your “Rap Sheet” ––   California and FBI criminal history records will still show the conviction and a dismissal “per Penal Code 1203.4”; it will not reinstate the right to possess firearms (however you may be able to get this reinstated by obaining a reduction in sentence through Penal Code 17 b. Contact our office at (805) 494-1131 to discuss your eligibilty for a 17 (b) reduction.; an expungement will not allow you to omit the conviction from applications for government issued licenses; it will not seal or otherwise remove the court case file from public inspection – anyone who knows where to look will be able to find the court case file; an expungement will not prevent the conviction from being used as a “Prior” to increase punishment in a case of a subsequent conviction; it will not prevent the conviction from being used for impeachment purposes if called as a witness; it will not prevent the conviction from being considered and used to refuse or revoke government licenses and permits such as real estate sales license, teaching credential, bus drivers license, security guard certificate, etc., however, the expungement may reduce the weight given the conviction by the licensing agency; it will not eliminate the conviction from consideration for Immigration purposes.

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