An “expungement” is a dismissal or “setting aside” of one’s criminal record. Convictions in California are not automatically expunged with the passage of time, but require the filing and granting of an Expungement Petition to the Court. Most misdemeanors and infractions can be expunged (dismissed) from your record while only some felonies are eligible for dismissal. After a successful grant of probation, early termination of probation or a year’s passage of time for infractions, you can become eligible for an expungement. One of the most important benefits to obtaining an expungement is to assist in securing employment. This is most critical in today's economy where finding a job is more challenging and competitive than ever. Getting an expungement allows you to state that you have a clean criminal record. While there are numerous other benefits, it can also be helpful in securing a state professional license and assist with preventing immigration consequences such as deportation.
While an expungement is a valuable benefit, not every case qualifies for a dismissal or expungement. Unfortunately, there are exceptions that preclude obtaining an expungement. For instance, certain felony convictions in which a prison sentence was imposed are excluded. Violations during a probationary period can also prohibit an expungement.
It is critical that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Michele to discuss your criminal background and determine whether you are eligible to get an expungement. Michele’s clients pursued expungements when they had government contracts that required security clearance, were in the process of renewing a real estate or nursing license or interested in entering the armed forces. Even if you are currently on probation, Michele can direct you on making a compelling case before the court to warrant an early termination of probation and then an expungement. Courts are more sensitive and amenable now more than ever to dismissing a criminal case if someone’s livelihood or future depends on it so call Michele today at (818) 203-8300 for a free consultation.