What is a Conviction Expungement?
A criminal conviction expungement is a legal process in which a court orders an arrest or criminal conviction of a particular case to be “erased” from public record or “cleaning your record“.. If an expungement is granted, the petitioner filing for the expungement will have his or her record, for the case in question, hidden from most public entities including future employers. Expungement laws vary from state to state, however, even after a conviction expungement is complete, the criminal record or case expunged will still be accessible by certain government agencies, namely law enforcement and the court systems.
Who can get a Criminal Conviction Expungement?
In order to be eligible to petition for an conviction expungement in California, a defendant must have been convicted of either a felony or misdemeanor, and meet each of the following standards:
- The defendant must have completed any and all probation assigned to the case.
- The defendant must not be criminally charged with, or dealing with, an additional criminal case.
- The defendant cannot have served any jail time in a California state prison.
- At least one year must have elapsed between sentencing and the petition to file a conviction expungement.
Additionally, the crime the defendant was convicted of originally must not be related to any of the following:
- Sex crimes made against children .
- Any crime that constitutes a serious or violent felony.
The Process of Getting a Criminal Conviction Expungement
If all of the above requirements have been met, a defendant is eligible to file a petition for expungement. While a defendant is legally allowed to file an expungement without the assistance of an misdemeanor defense attorney, it is best to retain an experienced attorney to handle a defendant’s expungement proceedings due to potential objections of the petition by the prosecution or judge on a case. Once legal counsel has been retained, your attorney will gather all court documents related to the case, research relevant case law that applies to getting you court indicated relief, draft a petition for a conviction expungement with all support necessary to win your case, and set a date for an expungement hearing with the Superior Court of California. After the date has been set, the prosecution has 15 days to object and review the petition before the hearing is held. If any objections are made, your attorney would then respond to them and proceed to the hearing date for expungement. At the hearing, the prosecution and expungement attorney will make their case to the judge who will review any objections, petitions, and responses regarding the expungement and make a decision on the petition.
Benefits of Getting a Criminal Conviction Expungement
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and are eligible for an expungement, it is in your best interest to petition for such relief. Prior convictions on your criminal record appear on background checks that impact life opportunities that include but are not limited to: future employment, ability to secure housing, and the success rate of getting a loan. However, if a criminal expungement is granted in your case and you are applying for future jobs, your criminal background is not allowed to be a discriminating factor in determining whether or not you are hired for the position. In addition, if your potential employer asks you if you have ever been convicted of a crime, and the conviction has been expunged, you may legally answer “no” and proceed with the interview.
How to get Help
When dealing with a criminal conviction expungement case, complications can arise between the prosecution and defense counsel that are best handled by an experienced attorney. Fortunately, the expungement attorneys at Kenney Legal Defense have been practicing law for over 20 years and have dealt with countless expungement cases. If you have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, call Kenney Legal Defense at (855) 505-5588 to expunge your case today!