What is an expungement?
Under California Penal Code section 1203.4, a person who was convicted for a crime and satisfied all terms of probation may petition a court to have their criminal conviction expunged. An expungement will allow you to withdraw your previous guilty plea and the judge will set aside your conviction and dismiss your case. In other words, the effect of an expungement will erase the criminal conviction from your record.(for most purposes)
Any person who did not serve a state prison term may be eligible for an expungement. Whether you are convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, you are eligible for an expungement.
What is the importance of an expungement?
Most people are law abiding citizens. However, due to one bad decision these people may make a mistake, get arrested, and be convicted for a crime. If you have been convicted for a crime, an expungement is an important step towards cleaning up your criminal record and moving on with your life. An expungement is one possible way to clear your record of a criminal conviction.
Why do I need an attorney as oppose to filing my own expungement?
Filing for an expungement is more complicated than it looks. In order to start the process of seeking an expungement, you will need to file a Petition for Dismissal. The local county court will provide forms for individuals to fill out and submit to the court. Unfortunately, these forms are not made to be easily understood by someone without legal training.
Furthermore, the local county court will require you to pay a filing fee of $120. Having an experienced attorney file an expungement is very important since it would help you avoid any mistakes made by a person who does not know the laws surrounding expungements. This will save you the trouble of having to re-file your petition if you make a mistake and avoid having to pay the $120 filing fee again.
Also, an attorney will help you determine if you qualify for an expungement based on your criminal conviction and whether you completed all of the terms of your probation. Most importantly, an attorney can draft a strong legal brief explaining all the reasons why you deserve an expungement. In other words, the attorney can draft a more detailed legal document to provide more convincing reasons for a Judge to consider in deciding whether to grant your expungement. That way, the attorney can personalize your story to the Judge and the Judge can make a more informed decision.
If my case has been expunged, what can I legally say on my job application?
Following the granting of an expungement, if a potential employer asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can say with confidence, “no.” On the other hand, if you are applying for a state or federal government job, you may have to legally acknowledge that you were convicted of a crime, but the conviction has since been expunged.
Having a criminal conviction on your record can make it extremely difficult for you to get a job. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients get their criminal convictions expunged. If you have a criminal conviction on your record, one of our Expungement attorneys may be able to help you get that conviction expunged so that you can move forward without the burden of a criminal conviction on your record. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, and Sherman Oaks.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839. We will be there when you call.