When you’re haunted by a criminal conviction, every application, whether for a job, housing, or educational opportunities, becomes a daunting task. The question about criminal records inevitably appears, and with it, the sinking feeling that the past is still dictating your future. If this experience resonates with you, you’re not alone, and there’s a way out. At Cal-Defender, our dedicated team of Expungement Lawyers specializes in helping clients like you reclaim their lives by expunging criminal records. Armed with extensive knowledge of California’s legal landscape, we’ve successfully assisted hundreds in wiping the slate clean.
Why Consider Expungement?
Expungement offers a legal pathway to erase or seal your criminal record, essentially making it as if the conviction never occurred, at least for most civil purposes. Not only does it restore your peace of mind, but it can also dramatically improve your prospects for employment, housing, and education.
Who Is Eligible for Expungement in California?
California law allows expungement for a variety of criminal convictions, including both misdemeanors and some felonies. However, certain conditions must be met:
- Completion of Sentence: You must have completed your sentence, including probation.
- No New Offenses: You should not have been involved in further criminal activities.
- Eligible Convictions: Not all crimes are eligible for expungement. For example, most sexual offenses against minors cannot be expunged.
The Expungement Process: Step by Step
Understanding the legal procedures is crucial for a successful expungement. Here’s a quick overview:
- Consult an Expert: Your first step should always be to consult with experienced expungement lawyers. At Cal-Defender, we offer a thorough review of your case to determine your eligibility.
- File a Petition: If you’re eligible, the next step is to file an expungement petition with the court that handled your case.
- Court Hearing: A judge will review your petition and any opposing arguments, usually from the prosecutor’s office, before making a decision.
- The Outcome: If successful, your criminal record will be cleared for most purposes, though some exceptions like gun ownership and certain professional licenses may still apply.
How Cal-Defender Can Help
With an intricate understanding of California criminal laws and an impressive track record, our Expungement Lawyers use their expertise to navigate the often complicated legal system. We help you gather all necessary documents, file the appropriate forms, and represent you effectively in court. Our objective is simple: to give you a fresh start.
Expungement can be a life-changing process, offering you freedom from the long-term negative impacts of a criminal conviction. Yet, the process is complex and demands expert attention to detail. At Cal-Defender, we provide that attention, ensuring each client understands their rights and options. Trust our lawyers to diligently work for your brighter future.
Take the First Step Today
Don’t let past mistakes define you. If you’re seeking to expunge your criminal record in California, contact Cal-Defender for a free consultation. Our Expungement Lawyers are committed to offering you a future unburdened by the past.
An expungement in California for most purposes, such as employment and housing applications. However, the expunged conviction can still affect your ability to get certain professional licenses and will be considered if you are charged with another crime.
To qualify for an expungement in California, you must have completed probation, paid all fines and restitution, and not be currently charged with a crime. Some crimes, such as certain sexual offenses, cannot be expunged.
The expungement process involves filing a petition with the court, after which a hearing date is set. If the petition is granted, the conviction is dismissed, and you can truthfully say you have not been convicted of that crime in most situations.
An expungement does not completely remove the record of your conviction but changes it to a dismissal. This means it won’t show up in most background checks for employment but will still be visible to law enforcement agencies.
The duration can vary but expect it to take at least a few months. Factors such as court backlog, the complexity of your case, and whether you have legal representation can affect the timeline.
Note: This FAQ is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney for your specific legal needs.