If you are concerned your criminal record will be holding you back from obtaining a job or loan, you may be able to have your record expunged so that your convictions will not appear on your record and you can legally deny you were every convicted of a crime.
To be eligible for an expungement, you need to have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and must have finished your probation and not be currently charged with a criminal offense. Even if you did not finish your probation, a court can hold a hearing to determine if you are still eligible based on your performance while on probation, the seriousness of your conviction, and other relevant factors.
If you were convicted of a felony offense, you only qualify for an expungement if the crime could have been charged as a misdemeanor. This if you served any time in a California State Prison, you would be ineligible for an expungement.
How do I start?
Otherwise, you will need to start by filling out PC 1203.4 forms. You will need to file under PC sections 17 (b)(3) if convicted of a felony to have it reduced to a misdemeanor, followed by filing a Petition to Dismiss a Misdemeanor. These papers can be filed and should include proof of program or rehabilitation completion and character reference letters which can be helpful.
Forms should be filed in the county where the offense occurred and filing fees depend on the county. The court will schedule a hearing after you file your paperwork and the judge will decide if you qualify for an expungement. A Concord criminal defense attorney can help you prepare for your hearing.
In making their decision, the court will consider:
- If you have been charged with other crimes
- How you have behaved since your offense such as keeping a job and paying your bills
- Any arguments the prosecution raises
- If the government has an interest in maintaining your criminal record
Should the judge deny your petition, you can ask them how to get your conviction expunged and the judge should tell you. You can re-file your petition in another six months after you made the suggested changes.
For help in filing for expungement, talk to our Concord criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Darrin M. Gamradt, P.C. and we can increase your chances of having your criminal record cleared!