Don’t allow your past to affect your present or future.
If you have ever been convicted of a crime, you will know the effect on your life is more far-reaching than just the terms of the conviction or probation. The criminal conviction can affect your ability to get a job or a promotion, or find housing.
The good news is that in some cases, you may be able to get an arrest or conviction expunged from your record. Expungement refers to the legal process of sealing arrest and conviction records. Virtually every state has enacted laws that allow people to expunge their criminal records, including California.
Expungement does not means the conviction is completely wiped from your record. The arrest and charges will still exist, and the expunged convictions can sometimes still be used as priors in California to enhance sentencing. However, the expungement will remove your conviction from your record and show a dismissal of the case instead. As a result, if an arrest or conviction has been expunged, it is not required to be disclosed because the record is sealed.
You may be eligible for an expungement if:
- You were placed on probation and successfully completed the conditions of probation for the entire probationary period, or if the judge agrees to shorten your probation time in the interest of justice;
- You were convicted of a crime, but were not placed on probation or committed to State Prison, and one year has passed since judgment;
- You were not charged with any new crimes or serving a sentence for another crime; and
- You have paid all fines and fees.
Typically it will be in your best interest to include a declaration to explain the need for the expungement and explain your situation in life. The key is to demonstrate to the Court that you have been rehabilitated and is now a productive member of society. It will be up to the Court to decide if your conviction should be dismissed, so make sure to include as much helpful information as possible to convince the Court to grant the dismissal in the interest of justice.
Don’t allow your past to affect your present or future. Consult with an experienced criminal attorney to review your case and determine if you qualify for an expungement. At CHH Law, P.C., our attorneys have extensive experience in successfully expunging criminal records.
By Frank Hwu, Esq.