Introduction

Expungement lawyer Matthew Luzaich can help you assess your expungement eligibility, help you prepare to maximize the likelihood of getting the expungement motion granted, and represent you in an expungement hearing. Attempting to expunge your record alone may result in an unfavorable outcome and require more time, effort, and money from you than if you had let a professional handle it.  An expungement lawyer familiar with the local court practices and requirements can save you time, money and headache.

An expungement is a dismissal of your case per Penal Code § 1203.4. So what does that mean? It may be as important to tell you what it doesn’t mean. An expungement is not a sealing of your criminal record, and it’s not a removal of the charges from your record. Your criminal history, kept both in the county that the conviction occurred and in Sacramento will read after an expungement: “dismissed pursuant to Penal Code § 1203.4” or “set aside and dismissed.” An expungement does not remove the crime from your record, but it does change the record to reflect that it has been dismissed.

An expungement can help you in applying for jobs and licensing, because as stated above, you may truthfully, and legally say on most employment applications that you have not been convicted of the crime that has been expunged. This is not, however, a guarantee that the prospective employer will not search your criminal record and see that you have a case that has been expunged. You may choose to prospectively tell an employer that the charges were dismissed.  Call expungement lawyer Matthew Luzaich to determine your eligibility for an expungement today.

Basic Information

Why Get an Expungement?

There are several significant benefits to having your charges dismissed after a conviction.  Probably the most important benefit for many people is that when most employers ask you if you have been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor, you can answer “no.”  In fact, California created a law in January 2014 to protect those who have been convicted of crimes and then have gone through the process of “expungement” and had their charges dismissed.  It was proposed in Senate Bill 530 and is codified in Labor Code Section 432.7(a).  The law prohibits employers from using arrests that did not result in conviction and expunged or sealed crimes in the hiring process, and even provides for civil and criminal penalties for employers who violate this law.  The text of the law reads:

“No employer, whether a public agency or private individual or corporation, shall ask an applicant for employment to disclose, through any written form or verbally, information concerning an arrest or detention that did not result in conviction, or information concerning a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or post-trial diversion program, or concerning a conviction that has been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed pursuant to law, including, but not limited to, Sections 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.45, and 1210.1 of the Penal Code, nor shall any employer seek from any source whatsoever, or utilize, as a factor in determining any condition of employment including hiring, promotion, termination, or any apprenticeship training program or any other training program leading to employment, any record of arrest or detention that did not result in conviction, or any record regarding a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or post-trial diversion program, or concerning a conviction that has been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed pursuant to law, including, but not limited to, Sections 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.45, and 1210.1 of the Penal Code. As used in this section, a conviction shall include a plea, verdict, or finding of guilt regardless of whether sentence is imposed by the court. Nothing in this section shall prevent an employer from asking an employee or applicant for employment about an arrest for which the employee or applicant is out on bail or on his or her own recognizance pending trial.” Labor Code § 432.7(a)

A dismissal of your charges from a California expungement may also help you in other ways.  Though you will still be required to disclose expunged convictions on application for professional licenses, the fact that an expungement has been granted could positively influence the state’s decision to license you.  In addition, an expungement will prevent your credibility from being impeached if you are a witness in court and you are not a defendant in the case.  Lastly, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that the state has determined that you successfully completed what you were required to complete with regard to your conviction, and the state recognizes your accomplishment.

Expungement lawyer Matthew Luzaich will assist you in determining if an expungement will provide you with the relief you are seeking.

What Expungements Don’t Do

  1. An expungement won’t restore gun rights
  2. They won’t end sex-offender registry
  3. Won’t guarantee eligibility for licensing
  4. Expunged convictions can still be used as priors
  5. Expunged convictions can still be used as strikes
  6. Expunged convictions are not removed from your record

Expungement Eligibility

  1. Misdemeanor California “Expungement”

You may be eligible for an expungement if you have:

  1. Been convicted of a misdemeanor offense for which you
  • Completed probation (the term of probation is up, you paid all fines and fees, completed required programs, did not violate the terms of your probation, completed community service, etc.); OR
  • Successfully terminated probation early; OR
  • You were not granted probation and one year has passed since the date of conviction; AND
  • You are not currently charged with any other crimes; AND
  • You are not on probation for any other crime; AND
  • You are not serving a sentence for any other crime.

You may still be eligible if you violated your probation if it is determined to be “in the interests of justice,” however, the court has discretion not to grant the expungement.  The interests of justice section of the law applies to DUI cases as well as the general expungement code was made inapplicable.  These petitions are more complicated and require supporting documentation for the expungement lawyer to provide the court.

  1. Felony California “Expungement”

You may be eligible for a felony expungement if:

  1. You were granted probation; AND
  • You fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation; OR
  • You were discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation; OR
  • The court determines, in its discretion and the interests of justice, that you should be granted an expungement (except as provided in PC 1203.4(b)); AND
  • You are not then serving a sentence for any offense; AND
  • You are not on probation for any offense; AND
  • You are not then charged with the commission of any offense. (See PC 1203.4(a)(1));

OR

  1. You were sentenced under Penal Code Section 1170(h)(5) and spent time in county jail only; AND
  • You completed your jail sentence and mandatory supervision; AND
  • You paid all fines, fees and restitution; AND
  • You are not under supervision pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h) of Section 1170; AND
  • You are not then serving a sentence for, on probation for, or charged with the commission of any offense; AND
  • There has been a lapse of one year following the defendant’s completion of the sentence, if the sentence was imposed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h) of Section 1170; OR
  • There has been a lapse of two years following the defendant’s completion of the sentence, if the sentence was imposed pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (5) of subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

You are NOT eligible if:

  • You served any time in state prison either from a probation violation or for the original charge; OR
  • You were convicted of specific sex crimes; OR

You do not satisfy the above requirements.

The Process

  1. You will discuss your eligibility with the expungement lawyer
  2. If you are eligible, the expungement lawyer will gather all the information needed to draft the motion
  3. The lawyer will draft the motion and serve it on the District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department (if necessary), and court
  4. A hearing date will be set (note that there is a notice period requirement to the DA’s Office that delays the process by weeks)
  5. A hearing is held in the jurisdiction in which you were originally convicted
  6. The judge grants or denies the motion
  7. If the motion is granted, an order stating that it was granted is given to the petitioner

What You Should Do

If you want to clean up your criminal record with a California expungement, call Chico Expungement Lawyer Matthew Luzaich today for a free assessment of your eligibility and to obtain an expungement as soon as possible.

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