Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

How do you expunge felony offenses from your legal record?

Asked on 4/11/12, 8:04 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Theresa Hofmeister Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law

Some felonies are "wobblers" and can later be reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged, if there were no probation violations and/or new cases.

Talk to an attorney about what charge is on your record to get your options. Good luck.

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Answered on 4/11/12, 10:57 pm

Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

California does not have a true "expungement." But for most purposes cases for which you were put on probation can be "expunged." It is fairly easy if you had no violations of your probation and you have completed your probation. If you have not completed your probation or if you had violations of your probation it is more difficult but not necessarily impossible. In some counties your probation officer can help you. In others you will see a lawyer. You might check with the local public defender. They may be willing to do it for free.

It is worth doing. After the case is "expunged" you can say you have never been convicted when you apply for a job.

Good luck!

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Answered on 4/11/12, 11:44 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Some CA convictions can be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the 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 If successful, the conviction would be withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does NOT ‘clear’, 'remove' or ‘erase’ the conviction, but does change the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. It doesn’t ‘disappear’. The conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense. It still shows on your record that is accessible to government agencies, law enforcement and the courts, such as through LiveScan. Expungement will help in obtaining and keeping employment. When applying for a job in the private sector, in response to any question concerning your prior criminal record, you may deny that you were arrested or convicted of the offense.

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.

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Answered on 4/12/12, 12:24 pm

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