Under California Penal Code § 1203.4, you can get a conviction expunged from your record. In order to be eligible, you must have completed all the conditions of your probation or had your probation discharged before termination. You cannot be serving a sentence or probation for any other sentence. When you apply, what will effectively happen is the Judge can set aside your conviction, allow you to plead not guilty, and then dismiss your case.
Of course, this will not work in every case. For example, if your conviction limits your ability to own firearms, the expungement will not allow you to own firearms again. If you are prosecuted again, your prior conviction can be used against you regardless of whether it was expunged. The expungement will have no impact on your driving record, so if your employer also obtains your driving record, your employer will still learn of your arrest. Once a conviction is expunged, your record will show that you were arrested, you were convicted, and your conviction was set aside. Under California Labor Code 432.7, an employer may not ask you to disclose information about an arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction. When an employer sees that you were arrested but not convicted of a crime, the employer may not discriminate against you for being arrested alone. However, if your arrest did lead to a conviction, then the employer may disqualify you on the basis of your conviction. Therefore, it is important to have your criminal background expunged since it can help prevent an employer from discriminating against you because of your criminal conviction.
Not all convictions are eligible for expungement. Some convictions are specifically excluded, such as § 42002.1 and 42001 of the California vehicle code. What this means is if you fail to stop for police, or fail to submit to chemical testing, you might not be able to get your conviction expunged. Other convictions excluded are: § 286 – sodomy, § 288 lewd acts with a child; § 289 – sexual assault; § 261.5 – unlawful sex with a minor; or § 12810 of the California vehicle code which involves drivers license point suspensions.
Expungement is a valuable relief that you can get under California law. Contact us today to discuss how you can get your record expunged.