An experienced Los Angeles attorney is needed to guide individuals who are looking to clean up their California record. Expungements in California allow for the possibility of clearing up past convictions. If an individual is looking to clear their record in California, the process can be intimidating. I have the experience as a former prosecutor in Los Angeles and Orange County to help guide you at every step of the way. Below are some common questions and answers to expungements in Los Angeles and Orange County.
WHAT IS A CALIFORNIA EXPUNGEMENT?
An expungement in California is dictated by California Penal Code Section 1203.4 (PC 1203.4). A successful application for expungement under section 1203.4 in California will result in your record reflecting that your guilty pleas is withdrawn and an entry of not guilty is entered in its place. Probation is terminated and the case is dismissed. In some cases, a felony may be reduced to a misdemeanor as part of the California expungement process.
WHAT DOES AN EXPUNGEMENT IN CALIFORNIA NOT DO?
An expungement in California is beneficial but there are several areas where it will not have an effect. A conviction expunged in California is still priorable. In plain English, this means that if the law allow prosecutors to use a prior conviction against you, then they can still do so even if the conviction has been expunged. Here are a couple of examples to illustrate that point:
· A Redondo Beach defendant is arrested and convicted of DUI in Torrance in 2009. In 2013, he hires a Redondo Beach criminal defense attorney and successfully has the 2009 case expunged from his record. In 2015, the Redondo Beach defendant is arrested for DUI in Manhattan Beach. The prosecutors are able to use the 2009 conviction in Torrance against the defendant and charge him with a second time DUI even though it was expunged.
· A Santa Monica defendant is convicted in Airport Court of robbery in 2002, which is a strike in California. In 2012, he hires a Santa Monica criminal attorney and wins a successful expungement. In 2014, he is arrested in El Segundo for domestic violence in El Segundo. Despite the successful expungement of his 2002 case, he will still be treated as having a prior strike offense and his sentence may be doubled on his new charge.
WILL AN EXPUNGMENT HELP ME IN A JOB APPLICATION?
The quick answer to this question is that it can help and will certainly not hurt. Depending on the nature of the job, a Los Angeles area employer may do a background check. As stated above, an expungement in California changes the record of your case to reflect the case has now been dismissed. This will certainly be beneficial and may remove the issue entirely. Certain positions including several with state licensing boards require disclosure of convictions even if they have been expunged.
WILL AN EXPUNGEMENT HELP MY IMMIGRATION CASE?
Once again, this is a complicated question that requires a personal conversation with a criminal defense lawyer. But once again, it will certainly not hurt. Please contact us for a further discussion of how an expungement may affect the California immigration process.
CONTACT US TODAY WITH CALIFORNIA EXPUNGEMENT QUESTIONS
As a former prosecutor in Los Angeles and Orange County, I have experience with what courts and prosecutors’ offices require for a successful expungement. I have successfully obtained expungements for clients that have resulted in new employment, cleared immigration issues, and allowed individuals to help move past a prior mistake. Reach out to me today and begin the process of clearing your record.