A misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record follows you for the rest of your life. It can keep you from getting a job, running for office, possessing a firearm, or even finding a place to live. You might have paid for your crime by incarceration or probation, completing certain court-mandated programs, or paying fines, but you may continue to feel the consequences.
The current climate has grown more favorable to expungement as a record number of states, including California, have passed legislation that allows people with convictions to seek a “clean slate.” Under California law, there are options for having your criminal record expunged. If you have questions about the possibility of expungement, you need to seek advice from a criminal defense attorney with experience in helping people pursue expungement.
At McCready Law Group, I have spent over 15 years working with clients in Long Beach, Cypress Hill, and Lakewood, California seeking to expunge their records. I am dedicated to helping my clients get a new start.
What is Expungement?
Under the California Penal Code, expungement allows a defendant who has successfully completed their probation to petition the court to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest and reenter a plea of not guilty and have their case dismissed.
Expungement means you do not have to suffer many of the negative consequences of your conviction, primarily because you are no longer required to disclose the conviction to anyone. Not disclosing a criminal conviction opens many doors that are otherwise closed to you, such as finding housing or getting a job.
Expunged convictions can still be used against you for harsher sentencing for subsequent convictions, such as the application of the “three-strikes law.” It cannot restore a driver’s license that has been suspended or revoked or restore gun rights subject to the state’s felony firearm law. It also does not keep you from appearing on the sex offender registry.
Who is Eligible for Expungement?
To be eligible for expungement, you must have successfully completed probation and cannot have served a prison sentence unless that conviction would now result in a jail sentence under the realignment of Proposition 47.