Having a legal record, especially a criminal conviction, is one of the blemishes that can impede an individual from fully realizing their potential not only in California but in other states as well. Once a mistake or error in judgment has been committed, this can cast a long shadow on one’s future. The law, with its penalties for committing crimes, also provides an avenue for individuals who willingly admit that their mistake cannot govern their future. Thus, expungement was created as an option for these individuals.
Expungement is the removal of all records on one’s criminal conviction once granted. Once issued by a judge after review of the records, it would seem as the conviction never occurred. What would happen is the withdrawal of the judgment or the plea which lead to the conviction for the crime resulting in the dismissal of the case and the crime.
While there are requisites before one can become eligible for expungement, there are options available for the individual if one is qualified. Here are some of the following options available:
If your conviction was for a misdemeanor and still serving probation, you may request for early release from probation. After such lifting, one can then file for expungement under California Penal Code 1203.3 and 1203.4;
If you were convicted for a misdemeanor and have completed probation, you can directly file for expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4;
If you were convicted for a misdemeanor without any probation, you may already file for expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4;
If you were convicted for a felony and still serving probation, you may then request for early release from probation and then file for reduction of your crime from felony to misdemeanor. Once these are granted, you can then file for expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4;
If you were convicted for a felony and not given probation but sentenced to jail time in a county jail, then your option would be to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor. Once granted, you can have the conviction dismissed by a petition for expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4;
If your conviction was for a felony and then sentenced to serve time in a state prison or the California Department of Corrections, you need to file a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon. Once this is granted, you may then file for reduction of the crime and then once granted again you may then file for expungement upon completion of all the sentence and judgment guidelines.
The expungement of criminal records is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone undergoing this process, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.