An expungement is essentially a court process that removes a criminal conviction from your record. Some people with criminal histories may not be aware that their criminal record is eligible for expungement, but expunging your record if possible can open up new professional, personal, and educational opportunities. A criminal record may affect a person’s ability to get into school, find reasonable housing, and can affect personal relationships with others. It is worth it to take the time to determine whether your criminal record may be eligible for expungement and consult with an experienced criminal record expungement attorney to make sure the process is done correctly. Call the Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at The Rodriguez Law Group for a free consultation.
What Types of Criminal Histories Can Be Expunged?
Both felony and misdemeanor crimes may be eligible for expungement. In order for an expungement to be successfully granted by the court, the court must be satisfied that the disposition did not result in a conviction. This may include:
- Not guilty pleas
- Probation (and that the offender completed all terms of the probation)
- Deferment programs (and that the offender completed all terms of the deferment)
- Drug/alcohol/anger management classes (and that the offender completed all terms of the classes)
Many first-time, nonviolent offenders are eligible for their records to be expunged, so long as they did not plead guilty to the offense. The official court record will show a dismissal of the case against you.
It is important to understand that although in most instances, after an expungement is granted, an individual may usually indicate that they have never been convicted of a crime; however, in certain government jobs or jobs that require special licenses/ security clearances, you may still have to disclose your previous involvement in a criminal case.
To ensure that you are acting in your best interest for your profession while still complying with the law, it is best to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine how you should be approaching your job applications to ensure there is no misrepresentation occurring.
Who is Not Eligible for Expungement in California?
Most violent or sex-related crimes are not eligible for expungement in California. Other times an expungement may not be granted include if the offender:
- Spent time in a California jail
- Pled guilty to an offense
- Is still on probation or court supervision for the crime they are seeking to expunge from their record
- Has been since charged with a subsequent criminal offense
- Is still under probation for a subsequent criminal offense
There are various circumstances that may bar a criminal defendant from having their record expunged.
The petitioner, or the person asking for their record to be expunged, bears the burden of proving to the court why the expungement should be granted and that none of the above situations are applicable at the time of the petition.
Hiring a Expungement Lawyer in Los Angeles
An expungement of your criminal past is not a right; it is a privilege that can only be accomplished with a complete and accurate petition to the court and the advice of an experienced attorney that has handled expungements for many clients.
When an expungement is not done correctly or the individual fails to follow up, the court records may still be available even though you have been granted an expungement by the court. To avoid mistakes and to have the best chance at the court allowing your expungement, contact Los Angeles criminal expungement attorney Ambrosio E. Rodriguez to learn more about your eligibility for expungement and other legal options.