Expungement of Criminal Records in California
We are the Original California Expungement Law Firm and have been expunging California records since 1992, and have been on the web since 2003. We are a small firm that emphasizes personal attention, not a high volume of cases. Our fees are reasonable and include all legal work, costs and court hearings; you usually do not need to appear in court.
What is an Expungement?
California Law provides for clearing a conviction by having the case dismissed, and the conviction set aside. The California criminal record expungement law, Penal Code § 1203.4, is complex in certain areas, and expungement of a criminal record is something that should be done by anyone with even a minor criminal history. Contrary to popular belief, criminal convictions are not cleared automatically with the passage of time.
California Expungement Law Gets Better
SB 530 signed into law by Gov. Brown and effective January 1, 2014, amends Labor Code § 432.7 to include cases that have been "judicially dismissed". This means that individuals who have been granted or will be granted a California expungement under California Penal Code section 1203.4 cannot be discriminated against for employment, hiring, promotion, or termination based upon that expunged case in most circumstances.
Additionally, the law prohibits employers from seeking information regarding that expunged conviction. Certain exemptions to this law do exist, but they are primarily focused upon individuals seeking employment in law enforcement or other areas where law prohibits the employment of an individual convicted of certain offenses.
Prop 47, passed by voters Nov. 4, 2014, adds section 1170.18 to the Penal Code, which makes many previous non violent felonies misdemeanors. These provisions are retroactive and can help even if you have completed probation years ago.
Please contact us if you are interested in potentially reducing your case; this will be particularity advantageous to those persons convicted of certain drug possession offenses (such as simple possession of Cocaine) that previously were felonies only.
How Does Expungement Work?
Our firm files on behalf of our client a petition for expungement under California Penal Code section 1203.4. The prosecuting attorney must also be served, and filing fees (set by each County) paid either at the time of filing or after the granting of the motion. We pay these fees. Some cases require additional materials, such as is the case in a DUI expungement, where the court must make a finding that the expungement is in the interest of justice.
The prosecuting attorney has the right to object to an expungement, although from a legal perspective legitimate objections are limited in scope. Unfortunately some prosecutors do not fully understand the expungement law and will from time to time make objections that have no legal merit. We reply to such objections so that the court is aware of the most recent law regarding expungement. Depending upon the court there may or may not be a formal hearing scheduled. If there is a hearing scheduled we attend for our clients.
When the expungement is granted, the petitioner (our client) is allowed to take back their plea of guilty or no contest and enter a brand-new plea of not guilty. The case is ordered dismissed, and the conviction ordered set aside by the court. This removes the criminal conviction from the petitioner's record. The California Department of Justice and FBI databases are notified by the court clerk of the expungement and update their records to show that the conviction has been ordered set aside by the trial court. Our clients receive a copy of the order showing that this has occurred.
Over the past 20+ years we have had about 95% of our petitions granted; those denied had issues with unpaid fines or new cases, or a failure to complete community service or court ordered classes.
How do I find out if I am eligible for an Expungement?
Call us. Unless you served time in State Prison or were convicted of a serious sexual offense you are probably eligible for an expungement. Even if you had a probation violation, it is often still possible to expunge your case, see People v. McLernon, 174 Cal. App. 4th 569 (2009), that requires the court to consider the client's conduct since the violation. Both Misdemeanor and Felony cases can be expunged.
How Long Does an Expungement Take?
Generally speaking, expungements take in the neighborhood of 90 to 120 days, but certain courts, or older cases can take up to six months. Some Courts can be quicker, so call us for more specific information about your case; with 20+ years of experience, we can give you a pretty good idea of how long your particular case will take.
Why Expunge my Record?
Background checks for employment, professional licensing, college admission and financial aid, or even renting an apartment are now commonplace, and an expungement helps ensure success in these undertakings. Many of our clients seek expungement for these reasons, but a large number get their records expunged for peace of mind and for closure on a past mistake; take a moment to look at our Client Testimonials.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Probably so. Remember that you are hiring a lawyer for a proceeding that is very important to your future, and carefully examine the experience and background of any attorney you employ. We get calls each week from individuals who have attempted to expunge their cases on their own, and have been denied. Give us a call; you will be glad you did. 800 495-2819
We are experienced California Expungement Attorneys. Our Lawyers have many years experience representing expungement, DUI expungement and probation termination clients in Alhambra, Anaheim, Berkeley, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Chino, Chico, Chula Vista, Claremont, Colton, Compton, Downey, El Monte, El Cajon, Fontana, Fresno, Glendale, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, Huntington Beach, Indio, Inland Empire, Irvine, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Metro Court, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Newport Beach, Oakland, Oceanside, Ontario, Palm Springs, Palo Alto, Pomona,Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, Riverside, Santa Ana, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Bernardino County Santa Rosa, Twenty Nine Palms, Temecula, Upland, Victorville, Fontana, Pomona, Fremont, Oakland, West Covina, Pasadena, Hollywood, Van Nuys, Airport Court,Torrance, Glendale, Burbank, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego County, San Jose, San Francisco, Marin County, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura County, Whittier