Los Angeles Expungement Attorney
What is an Expungement in California?
An expungement in California is a legal process by which a criminal conviction,
resulting from a guilty or no contest plea or a finding of guilt by a
judge or jury, is reopened and substituted with a not guilty plea, then
set aside and the case dismissed. Although the arrest, prosecution and
conviction record still exists, a notation in the court file, California
Department of Justice records, and FBI files should reflect the new not
guilty plea and case dismissal. Expungements only apply to state court
convictions. If you were convicted of a federal crime, you are not eligible
for an expungement.
does not seal or destroy your criminal record as is commonly believed; it is a
retroactive dismissal. If you have questions regarding whether your
criminal conviction can be expunged, please contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer
at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners to discuss your eligibility. We
have obtained countless expungements for our clients.
Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners to discuss your eligibility with a Los Angeles criminal attorney.
How You Can Benefit From An Expungement
In California, some of the limitations of having a criminal record include
difficulty obtaining employment; renting an apartment; ineligibility for
public funds and student loans; obtaining credit or bank loans; loss of
a professional license; even deportation for certain immigrants; and other
benefits we take for granted. Employers, landlords, lenders, and business
associates run criminal background checks. Today more than ever, thanks
to the Internet, information is accessible to anyone interested in knowing
your past. Expunging your criminal record can help put your past behind
you and allow you to get a fresh start.
Can All Criminal Convictions Be Expunged?
No, not all criminal convictions can be expunged. Most
misdemeanors and some
felonies qualify. Under California law, felony convictions can be expunged if you
were not sentenced to state prison and successfully completed probation.
A judge usually has the discretion to grant or deny a petition for expungement.
You will have only one opportunity for an expungement, so hire a Los Angeles
criminal attorney to make sure it is done right.
According to California Penal Code section 1203.4, your criminal record
can be expunged of eligible felony and misdemeanor convictions. You are
eligible for a dismissal of your conviction if:
- You were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and given probation, a fine,
county jail time (or no jail) and/or no sentence to state prison;
You were not convicted of a serious
sex offense (Penal Code sections 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, 289(j), or 261.5);
- You were not convicted of California Vehicle Code section 42001(b), or
sections 2800, 2801 and 2803;
You successfully completed your probation. Successful completion of probation
means you completed
all the requirements imposed by the court such as community service, community
labor, fines, classes, and restitution.
- You had no major violation of probation and committed no new crimes during
your probationary period;
- You are not currently on probation or charged with another offense.
In the event that you committed a probation violation, it is still possible
to get your record expunged. The judge would have discretion in granting
or denying the expungement. Some of the factors considered by the judge
include the seriousness of the violation, criminal history and the total
performance of the defendant while on probation.
Should I Have An Attorney?
You don't need an attorney to help you with your expungement but it
is advisable to have an attorney on board. An experienced criminal defense
attorney will be more familiar with the court process and personnel and
is more likely to get your expungement completed on a timely basis. In
addition, there may be some last minute question about the eligibility
of the person applying for the expungement and the attorney can be of
tremendous help in persuading the court to grant the expungement.
The attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners are very familiar
with the Los Angeles County criminal record expungement process. Just
one mistake or written error can get your expungement denied. We know
the exact process, court forms, and procedures for filing a successful
expungement in Los Angeles County.
In California, a felony can be expunged as long as you have completed all
terms of your probation and you did not serve a state prison sentence.
Although successful completion of your probation is a requirement for
expungement, Judges have the discretion to expunge your felony conviction
when probation was violated. How serious the probation violation will
determine whether or not the felony conviction is expunged.
If your felony conviction was a wobbler (a charge that can be filed as
either a misdemeanor or a felony), we may be able to reduce it to a misdemeanor
and then proceed to get it expunged. An expunged misdemeanor is a better
result than an expunged felony in that you may preserve certain benefits
that can be denied to a convicted felon.
Expunging Drug Charges
If you were referred to a "Diversion" Program, such as
Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) or
Proposition 36, and you have successfully completed all the requirements, your record
should already be cleared. If, however, you did not complete the requirements
or violated probation, you may have the conviction on your record. If
you were convicted of possession of marijuana for personal use, you are
not required to get an expungement. In California, all possession of marijuana
use convictions are automatically erased from your record after two years.
Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
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 from your record, also known as
sealing of arrest records, by assisting you with filing a Petition for Factual Innocence. If you
do have convictions, however, the majority are eligible for Expungements.
When you work with Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners, we can help you by:
- Obtaining all relevant court records;
- Preparing all the necessary legal paperwork;
- Filing the petition in the relevant court, and serving a copy to the prosecutor's office;
- Advocating for you at the expungement hearing;
- Obtaining the expungement order, signed by the judge.
Call and speak to one of our experienced attorneys about having us file
your expungement. We are very familiar with the Los Angeles County expungement
process and we file expungements in all the courts in Los Angeles County.
We have the knowledge and the legal expertise to work diligently on your
behalf and draft all the necessary documents, prepare you for court (if
necessary) and represent you before the judge. We will put our 75 + years
of criminal law experience to work for you.
For a defense team with a proven record of success,
contact our office for a no-cost evaluation of your case and learn how we can help you.