An expungement involves dismissing your case. After you finish your probation, you become eligible for expungement. If you get sent to prison, you cannot dismiss or expunge your case; you’re not eligible. An expungement in California does not wipe your criminal record clean. Even though you may get your expungement granted, it still shows on your record that you had the case and that it got dismissed. An expungement in California is actually a dismissal and that is the term used on the paperwork.
You have to be able to show the judges that you completed all the terms and conditions of your probation successfully and that you’re no longer on probation. Then, you can file paperwork, pay a fee, and the judge will rule on it. A letter will be sent to you saying whether or not your expungement was granted. If it was granted, you’re able to say on a job application that you were not convicted of the crime because it will read as dismissed. There are exceptions, which include running for public office and seeking a state license. You should consult with your attorney if you’re unsure.
Will I Ever Have To Go To Court To Seek An Expungement Of My Criminal Record?
Your best bet is to just hire an attorney to deal with your expungement matter so that it is done the right way. If you’ve got a felony conviction, a lot of times, you can apply to have the case reduced to a misdemeanor and then try to get it expunged. If you get a felony expunged and then you try to reduce it to a misdemeanor, you might have a problem because the judge may not see the point. The way you should do it is to hire an attorney or use the attorney who handled your case for you and let them deal with the expungement. You don’t necessarily have to go to court.
You have to file the form the right way with the clerk, pay the fee, serve a copy on the prosecuting agency, and then the judge will rule on it. You’ll get notice in the mail as to what the judge’s ruling was. You want to make sure that an expungement is the best vehicle for you to use to deal with your case before filing. For example, for immigration purposes, expungement is really not going to help you in any way. It doesn’t remove the conviction for the purposes of immigration. You would want to speak to your attorney about seeking some other remedy.
What Are The Main Reasons An Expungement Would Be Denied?
If you were not placed on probation but instead were sent to prison in your underlying case, you would not be eligible to get your felony expunged or get your felony reduced down to a misdemeanor. Another reason an expungement attempt would be denied would be that you haven’t completed your probation. In that scenario, you’d have to file a motion to terminate your probation early and if the judge granted it, then you could do the expungement.
Other examples of expungement being denied could be that you violated the terms and conditions of your probation. You didn’t do something that you were supposed to do or you picked up a new criminal case while on probation. The point of the expungement is to be able to argue that you got a criminal conviction but you finished probation flawlessly. If you really weren’t all that compliant on your probation, it could certainly be a reason to deny your request for expungement.
I’ve had cases where my client has violated their probation and eventually still successfully completed it. If you’ve had a violation, all is not lost. The key is that you are done with probation. You complied with all the terms and conditions of probation and you’ve completed everything you were supposed to. It helps if there has been a gap of time after your probation where you didn’t get in trouble.
Will Expungement Remove A Strike For Purposes Of California’s Three Strikes Law?
If your conviction was a strike, that strike will be with you forever. That’s why it’s so important not to plead to strikes because you cannot get rid of them if you’re going to stay in California. Most of the time, you also can’t reduce strikes down a misdemeanor. You have a felony on your record forever. You can’t vote or possess weapons and there are a number of other rights that are taken away from you.
For more information on Expungement In San Fernando Valley Courts, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0940 today.