Los Angeles Expungement Lawyer - "One of the few ways to partially clean your record in L.A."
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN IF YOU EXPUNGE YOUR CRIMINAL CASE IN LOS ANGELES?
In the state of California, there is no such thing as a "true expungement." What I mean by that is in the classic sense, if you expunge a matter, it is completely erased from your record and no one can see it, including the police. However, in California, if the court grants your expungement, someone searching for it will still find the arrest if they have the proper clearance to utilize the department of Justice's data base. There will be a notation near the charge that you were convicted of that says, "dismissed." But the arrest will still show up as a mark on your record.
This has led to much confusion as it related to expungements in Los Angeles County and elsewhere in California. In order to have an arrest wiped off of a person's record completely, meaning even removed from the department of Justice's database, a motion to seal and destroy the arrest record must be filed and argued. There must be a showing of factual innocence by the defense. The burdon of proof shifts and the defense carries the burdon. Therefore, the legislature and powers that be no longer call the procedure an expungement, but a dismissal. Your best option if your are serious about expunging your matter is to go to the local courthouse. Have the Clerk pull the minute order of your case and give you a copy. Bring the certified docket sheet (minute order) to your appointment with one of our attorneys and we will explain how the process applies to you step by step.
CAN EVERY CASE BE EXPUNGED OR DISMISSED?
The answer to whether all criminal cases can be expunged is no. If a person gets prison time as part of their sentence, then they will typically not be able to expunge their record. Also, if a person violates there probation in a significant way, then many times the judges in Los Angeles will deny the motion because the person seeking the expungement has not led a law abiding life and has not honored the terms and conditions of their probation. If a person was convicted of a crime that is eligible to be expunged and has complied with all of the terms and conditions of probation, then there expungement will be granted by the court.
IS THERE ANY OTHER MOTIONS THAT CAN BE FILED ALONG WITH AN EXPUNGEMENT, TO MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS OF A CONVICTION?
Many times, in the appropriate case, we can file a motion to reduce a case to a misdemeanor and then dismiss or expunge it at the same time. Not all cases can be reduced to misdemeanors. The only cases that can be reduced to misdemeanors, if they started as a felony, are called "wobblers". This simply means that a particular crime can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. If the crime is a wobbler, then we have the ability to reduce it to a misdemeanor, if you have complied with the terms and conditions of your probation. The the crime is a straight felony, then we will not be able to reduce it to a misdemeanor, but if you complied with all other terms and conditions of probation, we can dismiss it.
WHEN CAN I SEEK AN EXPUNGEMENT OR DISMISSAL?
Not every case is eligible to be expunged or dismissed. In order to have the ability to file for an expungement / dismissal you must have successfully completed your probation. In other words, done everything the judge told you to do and the full probationary term must be complete. Many people will file for a motion to expungement their case, only to be told by the court that their probation is not over. However, it is possible to file a motion to terminate your probation early and if the court grants that motion, then you can have your case dismissed. You have the best chance of success with any motion in a criminal case if you have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner.
California Penal Code section 1203.4 PC gives people such as yourself the opportunity to clear up any mess that may have landed on your criminal record.
When your criminal record is expunged you will be relieved of any penalties that may have resulted from the conviction. To get your record expunged you will need the assistance of a qualified and experienced Los Angeles Criminal Attorney because the process can become long and complicated.
Not every person with a criminal record is eligible for an expungement. Generally, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony and have successfully completed probation, and are not currently facing a crime, on probation for another crime, or serving a sentence, you would be eligible.
Most sex crimes are not eligible to be expunged and crimes that are classified as serious or violent felonies will not be eligible to be expunged. Most times, a simple phone call will give you the answers as to whether your case is eligible to be expunged. If there as any confusion, then we will go to the courthouse and pull the minute order related to your case to figure out your eligibility.