Los Angeles Expungement Attorney

What is an Expungement

In California, an expungement is a legal process by which a criminal conviction resulting from a guilty plea, "no contest" plea or a finding of guilt by a judge or jury is set aside and the case is dismissed. Although the arrest, prosecution and conviction record still exists, a notation in the court file, as well as in the California Department of Justice and FBI files, reflect the entering of a plea of not guilty and the case dismissal. An expungement does not seal or destroy your criminal record as is commonly believed. If you have questions regarding whether your criminal record can be expunged, please contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners to discuss your expungement eligibility. We have assisted countless people with their criminal expungement.

Why Expungements are Important

A criminal record can prevent you from getting a good job, obtaining credit, renting an apartment, voting, obtaining certain licenses (nursing, realtor, medical, and other professional licenses), running for political office, and other benefits of society we take for granted. Today more than ever, employers are doing background checks on current and potential employees. Thanks to the Internet, information is accessible to anyone interested in knowing your past. Expunging the criminal record dismisses and sets aside your felony and/or misdemeanor conviction from the public record.

Can all Criminal Convictions be Expunged

No. Not all criminal convictions can be expunged. Most misdemeanors and some felonies qualify for expungement. Under California law, felony convictions can be expunged if the defendant was not sentenced to state prison, and successfully completed probation. A judge usually has discretion, a choice, to grant or deny a petition for expungement. Do not go at it alone. You will have only one opportunity for an expungement. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure it is done once and done right.

Expungement Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

Your criminal record consists of all of your arrests and convictions, even if some arrests were dismissed, rejected, never filed or if you were not convicted. Although expungement applies only to convictions, we can also help you get your arrests removed, also known as sealing records, by assisting you with filing a Petition for Factual Innocence. If you do have convictions, however, according to the California Expungement Law, Section 1203.4, the majority are eligible for clearing, including felonies and misdemeanors, with the exception of most traffic offenses and sex crimes.

A criminal record can severely limit a person's future earning power and many of the benefits of society that we often take for granted. Thanks to the Internet, today more employers are running background checks on current and potential employees, and have easier access to peoples' past than ever before. Some of the limitations of a criminal record include:

  • Getting a good job
  • Obtaining credit
  • Renting a place to live
  • Voting
  • Obtaining certain licenses (nursing, realtor, medical and others)
  • Running for political positions.

By hiring our firm to assist with your expungement, you will have at your side experienced criminal defense attorneys who know California law and have the knowledge and legal expertise to get your criminal record expunged.

Eligibility for expungement is based on several conditions:

  • No state prison sentence for felony convictions
  • Successful probation completion
  • One year since date of judgment in non-probation cases
  • Compliance with all court orders
  • No subsequent offenses
  • Current honest and upright lifestyle.

A frequently asked question is whether an expunged criminal record can be reversed; the answer is "No." You must keep in mind, however, that if you are arrested and or charged with a new crime, the expunged convictions can be used against you. In addition, on all government forms, you must reveal (upon request) your expunged criminal convictions, and you will still not be able to possess a firearm.

We are ready to assist you in determining your expungement eligibility and in filing the Adult Record Clearance Application with the State of California. We have the knowledge and the legal expertise to work diligently on your behalf and can draft all the necessary documents, prepare you for court and represent you before the judge. Rest assured, our law firm is your best choice to obtain a clear record and a dismissal of your original charge.

For a criminal defense team with a proven record of success, contact a Los Angeles expungement attorney today.