Articles Posted in Expungement

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“What I would give for a second chance.” Have you ever found yourself throwing this thought around in your mind? All people, at one point in their lives, have likely said this to themselves hoping that something would come along to give them a fresh start. California’s new realignment law is exactly that, a fresh start.

Effective immediately, California Penal Code Section 1203.41 expands on old law to give more people convicted of felonies the opportunity to expunge their convictions even if probation was denied. Under the old law, those persons who were sentenced to county jail for their felony convictions were not eligible to have their convictions expunged if probation was denied. Under the new law, if you were sentenced to and served in county jail for a felony conviction even if probation was denied, you may be eligible to petition to expunge your conviction.

What is the New Realignment Law?

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Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought federal lawsuits against car manufacturer BMW and retailer Dollar General. The EEOC alleged that the two companies have been using criminal background checks to unlawfully discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and disability status.

EEOC v. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

Criminal%20Record%20picture.jpgOn June 11, 2013, the EEOC filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 69 individuals against car manufacturer BMW. The individuals, logistic services employees at a South Carolina BMW facility, were told to reapply to a new logistics company when their contracts ended. After the new logistics company conducted background checks, it found that 88 individuals had committed criminal offenses in violation of BMW’s hiring policy.

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Expungement attorneysHaving a clean criminal record is important to you for several reasons. You may be seeking gainful employment or a prestigious career; or perhaps you are a college student on a career path to becoming a professional.

Unfortunately, having a criminal conviction on your record will be an obstacle to achieving these life goals. For example, some employers conduct a background check to make sure that you have a clean record before they hire you. If you are an aspiring lawyer, a criminal record may put your moral character application into question. A criminal record can also prevent you from obtaining other state licenses, such as a contractor’s license or a real estate license. Having a criminal record can also be embarrassing for your personal life.

An expungement allows you to wipe your record clean. Our Wallin & Klarich criminal expungement attorneys can assist you with an expungement by petitioning the court to permit you to withdraw your guilty plea, or vacate your felony or misdemeanor conviction. If the court grants your petition, your criminal charges will be dismissed. But the court will only grant you this dismissal upon the completion of certain requirements.

How to Qualify for an Expungement of Your Criminal Record

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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.

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Let’s face it – if you have been convicted of a crime in California, your prospects for employment are significantly diminished. That pair of shoes you shoplifted twenty years ago could haunt you every day. Until recent years, however, prospective employers and others were unlikely to obtain this information unless it was offered. Unexplained gaps in verifiable employment would likely have been the only tell-tale sign. The Information Age has changed all that, but there may be a way out.

The advent of the Internet has led to an unprecedented gathering of information about criminal convictions. For just a few dollars anyone can obtain information about any offenses you may have had in the past. However, attorneys at Wallin & Klarich may be able to help. California Penal Code 1203.4 allows for expungement of certain crimes from an individual’s record.

In a nutshell, expungement is a process by which a petition is made to the court to review your conviction, set aside the conviction, and dismiss the case. To qualify, you must meet certain criteria:

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Expungement is nothing more than a statutory vehicle to dismiss a criminal case under certain specified conditions. Both misdemeanors and felonies may be expunged. Any adult who was granted and successfully completed probation, either by fulfilling the conditions of probation or being discharged before the end of his or her probation period may be eligible for expungement.

ExpungementIndividuals who seek to expunge their criminal record must also show that they are not currently serving any sentence for any offense, are not on probation for any offense, and are not currently charged with committing any crime. Under the law, however, individuals who are convicted of certain sex crimes and vehicle code violations are ineligible to expunge their criminal record.

When the case is expunged, the court dismisses the case, which will significantly increase your chances of securing employment. However, when such a person applies for a government job or job which requires a government-issued license, certificate or permit, the expunged conviction must be disclosed. It is also important to know that an expunged criminal conviction will not reinstate the right to possess firearms unless it is reduces to a misdemeanor, and it will not remove such conviction from California and the FBI criminal history records. Starting 2011, the law permits individuals convicted of certain vehicle code infractions to seek dismissal of charges and release from all penalties and disabilities resulting from those offenses, as specified.

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A new law will take effect on January 1, 2011 that will grant individuals the opportunity to expunge their record for certain infractions. Although an infraction is a less serious crime than a misdemeanor, it is a blemish on your criminal record that may have a negative effect on your educational or employment opportunities. The new law provides a chance for defendants convicted of any infraction (except motor vehicle infractions) to seek to have the charge dismissed and for the accused to be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from their offense.

If you were previously convicted for an infraction, you may be eligible under Penal Code § 1203.4a to file a petition to have your record expunged. If you or a loved one is in need of cleaning up your record, it is important that you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our Southern California expungement attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of criminal matters. Our attorneys are aggressive and have extensive knowledge of the law. Our attorneys are committed to helping those who find themselves in theses situations. Call us today at (888) 749-0034 or visit us on our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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If you have been convicted of a crime in the past, you know this can be very difficult to overcome. Having a criminal record could destroy your life. It can be challenging to find and maintain employment and the negative stigma will follow you around for the rest of your life. This is a burden that no one wants to carry around.

With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to change your fate. You may be eligible to clean your record in Southern California. One of the best ways to reduce the effects of a criminal record is through an expungement.

What is an Expungement in California? (PC 1203.4)

California expungement attorneyIn California, there is a process that will allow you to modify your prior convictions. This process is known as an expungement under California Penal Code Section 1203.4.

An expungement is the legal process that involves petitioning the court to review your criminal conviction, set aside the conviction and dismiss the case. Obtaining an expungement could remove the criminal stigma attached to your name and help make it easier for you to find a job.

Before attempting to obtain an expungement, you need to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable expungement attorney to find out if you are eligible. In order to qualify for an expungement in California, all of the following must be satisfied and your attorney must be able to show this to the court:

  • You have completed the terms of probation on your conviction
  • All fines and any restitution has been paid
  • All court programs have been completed
  • No new convictions are pending

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When your past interferes with your future, you might need an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer to assist you in cleaning up your record. Because a criminal record is a public record any one can view, several people can see your case file and view what happened in your criminal case. However, if an attorney assisted you through the process of obtaining an expungement under California Penal Code Section 1203.4, then they could provide some relief for you and your family.

An expungement is the process whereby the court will dismiss the conviction against you. First, you can withdraw your plea of guilty, or the judge can set aside a guilty verdict. Next, you will enter a plea of not guilty. Finally, the court can dismiss the case against you.

Sounds Great! However, the case can still be found by anyone looking at your file, as it does not erase or wipe away the conviction. Any conviction you received will still remain on your record and this process does not absolve your criminal conduct.

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Many people are wrongfully arrested by law enforcement. Often the police officer makes an “honest mistake” or the police officer may arrest a person wrongfully due to a faulty identification by a witness. In other cases, the police officer may arrest someone without probable cause in an attempt to harass or obtain information from a person. Whatever the reason for the arrest, after the charges are dismissed the person may face serious negative consequences due to his wrongful arrest.

In some cases a person may not even realize that he was not accepted to a college or university or program due to this arrest. In other cases, a person may be turned down for an employment opportunity if the prospective employer finds out about the wrongful arrest. Fortunately California law allows for what is referred to as a Petition for Factual Innocence. If the courts grant a petition, all records of the arrest must be sealed and destroyed. This means that nobody can legally find information about the wrongful arrest.

Most people do not realize that you normally are given only one chance to successfully litigate a petition for factual innocence. Most petitions are not granted. It is for that reason that you should retain a highly skilled California expungement attorney to represent you.

About Wallin & Klarich


Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.