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Understanding California's New Clean Slate Law

McCready Law Group May 4, 2022

According to a recent study, about one in every three American adults (77 million) have a criminal record. Having a criminal record can have devastating, immediate, and life-long consequences. A criminal record can severely restrict your eligibility for public assistance, housing, education, employment, professional, and other future opportunities. Even if you have been granted criminal record relief – through expungement, record sealing and destroying, or certificate of detention – data brokers conducting background checks could still access and report your previous arrest or convictions.

Fortunately, the new California "Clean Slate Act" makes it unlawful for data brokers to obtain the criminal record information of a person who has been granted criminal record relief. Hence, background checks on you will no longer reveal your arrest or conviction record for specific offenses once you've been granted criminal history record relief. An experienced California criminal defense attorney can enlighten you about your rights and options regarding California's Clean Slate Law.

At McCready Law Group, I believe that everyone deserves a second chance. I am dedicated to offering comprehensive legal services and reliable advocacy to clients in matters of expungement and criminal record sealing. As your legal counsel, I can work to understand your unique situation and determine how you can benefit from California's new Clean Slate Law. My firm proudly represents clients across Long Beach, Cypress, and Lakewood, California.

Clean Slate Laws

Clean slate laws are laws designed to enable the removal of some arrest or criminal records of a defendant from the public view, including information — arrests or convictions — that would have appeared during a criminal background check. Thus, if you have been granted a criminal record relief, some arrest or criminal information will not appear on your criminal history when applying for a job, state license, or renting an apartment.

California's Clean Slate Law

In 2019, California passed a bill that automatically seals the arrest and criminal records of eligible defendants in specific situations. According to the newly passed Clean Slate Law, California courts are prohibited from disseminating criminal record information on defendants that have been granted criminal record relief.

Also, it will be unlawful for data brokers to obtain information about previous arrests and convictions of a defendant who was granted criminal record relief from court records. In addition, occupational and state licensing boards are prohibited from denying a license to an individual based on an arrest that didn't result in a conviction or on a conviction which has been dismissed.

Effective Dates: California's Clean Slate Law will apply to defendants arrested or convicted on or after January 1, 2021. The provisions of the law will kick in automatically after the defendant completes their sentence and pays their outstanding fines. Thus, arrests and convictions on or after January 1, 2021, will be automatically granted relief under the new Act once they are eligible for criminal record relief.

Who is Eligible?

However, California's Clean Slate Law doesn't apply to every offense. The Act applies to the following:

  • An arrest that didn't result in a conviction

  • Misdemeanor offenses

  • Summary crimes, and

  • Some nonviolent felonies.

The Act doesn't apply to defendants convicted of the following crimes:

  • Sexual assault

  • Child abuse

  • Domestic violence

  • Some other felonies

An experienced record sealing attorney can evaluate all of the facts of your case and determine whether you qualify for your records to be dismissed permanently and away from public view.

Get Guidance from a Trusted Source

Having a criminal record can make it more difficult for you to secure scholarships, housing, employment, professional licensing, and public assistance. The implications are often far-reaching and can affect various aspects of your life, including your liberty, quality of life, professional, and future opportunities. Thankfully, California's new Clean Slate Law can offer you the second chance you truly deserve. A skilled criminal defense attorney can advocate for your legal rights and determine your eligibility.

At McCready Law Group, I have the resources, diligence, and expertise to guide and represent individuals with prior convictions, arrests, or criminal records. Using my extensive knowledge, I will fight intelligently for your legal rights, file a petition to clear or dismiss your criminal records, and help you achieve the second chance and clean slate that you truly deserve. Having me on your side can increase your prospects of a brighter tomorrow.

Contact my firm – McCready Law Group – today to schedule a simple case assessment with an expungement attorney. I can offer you the highly-personalized legal guidance and strong advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions. Based in Long Beach, California, I'm proud to serve clients across Lakewood and Cypress. Call my firm to get the legal guidance you need from a trusted source to help you get back on your feet.

Proudly serving Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Lakewood, Orange County, CA, and the surrounding areas, including Santa Ana and Fountain Valley. Criminal Defense and White Collar Crime Lawyer in Orange County, Domestic Violence and Manslaughter Lawyer in Orange County.