I was charged with PC459 BURGLARY in 10/30/2012 and I plead 'guilty' (another word was used when i plead, but i forgot what it was) because the other lawyer took out jail time and lowered fees if i plead 'guilty'. In the end, i payed 800$ fees and 1 year probation (but without an officer). I was wondering when i could get that expunged in the state of CA and how long it would take for it to be? I would like to apply to a nursing program and would like to start over. Answers would be appreciated :) Thanks,
2 Answers from Attorneys
What is commonly called expungement is actually called a petition for dismissal under the Penal Code. If you did not do prison time, it sounds as though you may be eligible. If it was classified as a felony, it is considered a wobbler, and you would have to petition to have it reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed. The California courts have a great website setting for the basics here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1070.htm
Keep in mind that some jobs that are state licensed will still want the conviction disclosed, even if your petition is successful.
Some CA criminal convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the convicting court, but ONLY IF there was no felony prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if it was not for certain listed sexual crimes, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending.
If successful, the conviction would be retroactively withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does NOT ‘clear’, 'remove', ‘erase’ or ‘disappear’ the conviction. Nothing will. ‘Records are forever’. Expungement does change the record to show an arrest, charges filed, with 'conviction reversed and charges dismissed by expungement'. The conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offenses. Expungement will help in obtaining employment. When applying for a job in the PRIVATE sector, in response to any question concerning your prior criminal record, you may ‘legally’ deny that you were arrested or convicted of the offense. However, you must disclose the arrest and conviction in any questionnaire or application for certification or licensing by any government agency [medical, legal, educational, professional, law enforcement, security clearances, bonding, etc], for public office, for a position as a peace officer, for contracting with the California State Lottery, or for purposes of serving on a jury. The licensing agency and employer then will decide whether the nature of the past convictions and your record will bar you from licensing and employment in that field.
If you’re serious about doing this, and you think you qualify under those rules, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need.