It goes without saying that having a criminal records can have serious consequences. Criminal records will pop up when you apply for a job, seek housing, or even when somebody does a simple web search for you. The good news is that you can often have an arrest or conviction expunged from your record. Expungement refers to the process of sealing arrest and conviction records. Virtually every state has enacted laws that allow people to expunge arrests and convictions from their records. The rules are complex and largely depend on the type of crime you were arrested/convicted for. An expungement attorney gives you the best shot of wiping your record clean.

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Overview of California Record Expungement

California Penal Code 1203.4 PC states that once a person's criminal record is expunged, that person is technically released from "all penalties and disabilities" of the conviction. This is especially important if you are trying to get a job.

Expungements are also beneficial for securing or maintaining California professional licenses and for joining many professional organizations. This relief offers you a "fresh start" from an otherwise difficult past.

Who Is Eligible for Record Expungement?

Generally, a person is entitled to expunge their California criminal record if he or she was convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense,has successfully completed probation, and is not currently charged with a criminal offense, on probation for a criminal offense, or serving a sentence for a criminal offense.

You must have successfully completed your probation in its entirety or have obtained an early termination of probation. If you were sent to prison, you do not qualify for felony expungement in California. "Successfully completing your probation" means that you have completed all the terms of your probation (that is, paid all fines and restitution, completed any counseling programs, community service, etc.), attended all required court appearances (either personally or through your attorney), and did not commit any new crimes while on probation.

Who Is NOT Eligible to Get a California Expungement?

As stated, you cannot expunge a conviction if you were sent to state prison. Beyond that, there are also certain criminal offenses in California that cannot be expunged. These include serious sex offenses committed against children, such as

Penal Code 286(c) PC California's law against sodomy with a child,
Penal Code 288 PC California's lewd acts with a child law,
Penal Code 288a (c) PC California's law against oral copulation with a child, and
Penal Code 261.5(d) PC California's statutory rape law which prohibits sexual intercourse between persons who are 21 years and older with persons younger than 16.6

The rules of California record expungement are complex. Hire an experienced expungement attorney to get your record expungement done now. Call today to book a free consultation.