Los Angeles Expungement Attorney

Los Angeles Expungement Attorney

Do you want a fresh start with a clear criminal record? Everyone makes mistakes, but past errors that have resulted in a criminal conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. An expungement can result in the dismissal of past convictions so they are not visible to potential employers and landlords.

For more than 20 years, the criminal defense attorneys at The Rodriguez Law Group have fought for the rights of residents in Los Angeles, CA facing criminal charges. Contact our law firm for a free consultation with a Los Angeles expungement attorney who can help you explore your options for clearing your record.

Why You Should Call Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys For Help Getting Your Record Expunged

Clearing your record through expungement can be a complicated and time-consuming process with a great deal of paperwork and a formal hearing. At The Rodriguez Law Group, we believe you deserve a fresh start at life and we will help you achieve it. We have helped countless people in Los Angeles, California expunge their convictions.

Founding attorney Ambrosio E. Rodriguez was a Senior Deputy District Attorney for more than 13 years and has 20 years of criminal law experience. He uses this insight as a criminal defense lawyer to fight for his client’s rights and build the strongest possible defenses.

Choose The Rodriguez Law Group to help you petition for expungement and we will:

  • Protect your constitutional rights
  • Explore all options available to you for clearing your record including commutation or a Certificate of Rehabilitation
  • File all necessary paperwork with the correct California court
  • Build a persuasive argument to present to a judge
  • Help you gather evidence to demonstrate why you deserve an expungement

Contact The Rodriguez Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles expungement lawyer. We will help you understand what to expect and get started on your petition and argument for post-conviction relief.

What Is an Expungement in California?

California Penal Code § 1203.4 PC grants certain people with a criminal record in California the ability to have their conviction expunged. An expungement is a type of post-conviction relief in which the court reviews the conviction and allows the defendant to withdraw a finding of guilt or a plea. A “Not Guilty” plea is then entered and the case is dismissed so the conviction can be set aside.

An expungement effectively clears your criminal record. Having convictions expunged allows you to truthfully, legally state that you have never been convicted of a crime. It will no longer be seen by landlords or employers during a background check. It can also offer relief from the consequences of a criminal conviction.

The term “expungement” implies that the record will be erased, but the term “dismissal” is more accurate. If you successfully have a conviction expunged, it will still be visible on your record, but it will be changed to show the conviction was dismissed.

However, not all convictions can be expunged. Obtaining a criminal record expungement requires a hearing and meeting certain qualifications.

Who Is Eligible to Have a Criminal Record Expunged in Los Angeles, CA?

You may be eligible to receive a California expungement if you were convicted of a crime in the State of California and:

  • You were convicted in state court, not federal court.
  • Your sentence did not involve state prison. An arrest or conviction that involved time in county jail or a holding cell can qualify.
  • You completed probation. If you were not given probation, it must have been at least one year since the date of conviction.
  • You have met all sentence requirements such as community service, mandatory rehabilitation or treatment programs, restitution, and fines.
  • You did not violate the terms of your probation.
  • You are not currently charged with a criminal offense, serving a sentence for another offense, or on probation for another offense.

There are some exceptions to these guidelines. If you are currently on probation, for example, our Los Angeles expungement lawyers can help you seek early termination of your probation first. 

California Penal Code § 1203.4 PC allows for early probation termination with a petition. It’s usually best to wait until you have completed at least half of your probation term before requesting early termination.

It may even be possible to qualify for an expungement if you violated the terms of your probation. However, you are no longer entitled to relief and it will be at the court’s discretion. The court will consider your general behavior on probation, the seriousness of the original offense, your entire criminal record, and the type of violation.

Are Any Crimes Ineligible For Expungement in California?

There are several crimes specifically excluded from expungement relief in California.

These convictions cannot be expunged:

  • Committing lewd acts with a minor
  • Child pornography offenses
  • Oral copulation with a child
  • Sodomy with a child
  • Statutory rape
  • Failure to submit to a police inspection of a vehicle

Most are serious sex crimes against children.

Can Both Misdemeanors and Felonies Be Expunged?

Most misdemeanors and felonies in California are eligible for expungement. To expunge a misdemeanor, you must request that a judge expungement the conviction. With a felony, you must first petition a judge to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor.

At The Rodriguez Law Group, our Los Angeles expungement attorneys help clients seek expungement of the following types of offenses:

  • DUI convictions
  • Marijuana offenses
  • Other drug offenses
  • Theft offenses
  • Firearms offenses
  • Prostitution and other sex crimes

The rules regarding California expungement are complex. If you are not sure if your criminal record qualifies for expungement, contact The Rodriguez Law Group for a free consultation.

What Does Prop 47 Mean For Record Expungement in Los Angeles, CA?

California’s Proposition 47, passed in 2014, reduced criminal penalties for many theft and drug crimes. It changed several offenses from felonies or “wobblers” to misdemeanors. If you served time in prison for one of these offenses before Prop 47 came into effect, you might be able to get your record expunged.

If you were convicted of a felony or “wobbler” that was changed to a misdemeanor by Proposition 47, we can help. A judge can be petitioned for resentencing and your record will change to reflect a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

Under specific circumstances, Prop 47 changed the following offenses to misdemeanors:

  • Shoplifting
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Writing a bad check
  • Forgery
  • Grand theft auto
  • Grand theft firearm

If you meet all of these requirements, the crime itself must also qualify for expungement.

How Does Expungement Work in California?

When your conviction becomes eligible for expungement, you can immediately file an expungement petition in Los Angeles. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help you file this petition with the correct court. A hearing will then be scheduled within 45 days.

If you have multiple convictions you are hoping to have expunged, each conviction must be handled separately with its own petition for dismissal. However, all petitions may be reviewed simultaneously.

During the hearing, the prosecutor may object to clearing your record. It will be at the judge’s discretion whether your record will be expunged.

During the hearing, you may submit a legal argument, call witnesses, and submit evidence to support your argument. You may submit employment records, testimony from an employer that you would be eligible for a promotion without your criminal record, personal testimony, and more.

If your petition for expungement is granted, your prior conviction will be voided and you will plead “not guilty.” The judge will then dismiss your case.

While an expungement will officially make it as if you were never convicted of the offense, there is an exception.

An expunged conviction will still count as a prior offense if you are charged with a new offense.

For example, if you have a DUI conviction expunged and you are charged with another DUI, your sentence can still be enhanced for a subsequent DUI.

State licensing agencies must still be informed of an expunged conviction that is relevant and it can still affect your ability to possess a firearm. Expungement cannot terminate sex offender registration requirements or reverse the revocation or suspension of a driver’s license.

What Is the Difference Between Expungement and Record Sealing?

Note that there are two ways to clear your record in California. The first type of expungement clears your criminal record and transforms convictions into dismissals. The second type is record sealing of arrest reports and conviction information from the state’s records.

Criminal convictions can be expunged under California Penal Code § 1203.4 PC. Arrest records can be sealed and destroyed under California Penal Code § 851.87 PC.

You may be eligible to have your arrest records sealed if:

  • Your case was dismissed by the court
  • You were arrested but criminal charges were not filed
  • Your conviction was overturned and dismissed through appeal
  • You were acquitted
  • You completed a diversion program

If your arrest record is sealed, the judge has officially declared you innocent. You can legally, truthfully state you have never been arrested. Only arrests that do not result in conviction may be sealed under California statute. However, you can still have convictions expunged.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Los Angeles Expungement Attorney

Do you want to have your criminal record expunged for employment purposes or a clean start? Contact The Rodriguez Law Group today for a free consultation. Our Los Angeles expungement attorneys can help you explore your options and pursue the fresh start you deserve.

Last Updated on May 30, 2021