Expungement Attorney in Sonoma County, California – Sonoma County Experienced Lawyers Expunging Your Record

If you have a criminal record, chances are that you have experienced the frustration of being refused certain employment, having had your rental application denied or been turned down by the school you hoped to attend. It is difficult for anyone with a criminal record, and especially someone with a felony conviction, to be fully reintegrated into society and to enjoy the same opportunities available to most everyone else.

An expungement provides a second chance for those individuals who have completed their probation and not served any state prison time. The expungement process can be difficult and exasperating in some cases and it may often take reasoned arguments by an experienced expungement lawyer along with supporting documentation to get you the relief you want. Our expert expungement attorneys have the real life experience you will need to have your conviction set aside and your records cleared or made inaccessible to the general public. Do it right the first time and you will save valuable time and money and have the satisfaction of once again having a chance for a brighter future.

There are other options available to you for post-conviction relief that an attorney from the Expungement Law Group can advise you on if applicable to your case including record sealing, early termination of probation, reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon along with expungement.

Expunging Your Conviction

Expungement in Sonoma County, California does not mean the destruction of your records since law enforcement and the courts will retain these records to be used under certain circumstances. It does, though, enable the court to reopen your case and dismiss your conviction provided certain conditions have been met. Our attorneys will retrieve your records containing your conviction, sentencing and release from probation dates before filing a 1203. 4 or 1203.4a Petition with the court where your plea or conviction was obtained. All applicable documents are filed and served on the court, district attorney and probation department. A hearing date is set. If there is no opposition, then no court appearance is generally required.

Some infraction, misdemeanor, felony offenses can be expunged including:

  • Drug possession and other drug related crimes
  • Marijuana possession
  • Domestic violence
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • DUI, DWI, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Prostitution & Sex Crimes
  • Indecent exposure
  • Stolen property offenses, petty theft, shoplifting
  • Assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery
  • And much more... Please call 1-888-754-9877 to find out if you qualify.

Post-Conviction Relief

There are a number of post-conviction options available to you that can enable you to have a second chance and enjoy the opportunities denied you because of your criminal record. These include the following:

  • Misdemeanor Expungement

Infractions, misdemeanors and felonies can be expunged provided you only received probation and did not serve any state prison time. Also, your offense cannot have involved a sexual crime involving a minor. In some cases, even if you violated your probation, you may still be able to receive an expungement order. An expungement effectively dismisses your conviction and allows you to lawfully state under oath on most employment, rental housing and school applications that you have never been convicted of a crime.

  • Felony Expungement

As indicated, a felony can be expunged so long as you did not serve any state prison time and you have completed all the terms and provisions of your probation. If you did serve time in state prison, your other option is a Certificate of Rehabilitation. You may have to wait at least 7 years before applying but you are automatically eligible for a Governor’s Pardon and it does allow you to now apply for state and vocational licenses for which you were previously prohibited.

  • Early Probation Termination

Many probation periods are 3 or 5 years. Regardless of how long, though, after you have successfully served at least half of it, you may apply for early termination. An expungement lawyer from our office can prepare your request and obtain letters of support or evidence of rehabilitation along with a statement as to why you should be granted early termination. Once it is granted, we can begin the expungement process.

  • Reducing Your Felony to a Misdemeanor

In many instances, a felony can be later reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Section 17(B). This would include those offenses considered “wobblers” wherein the district attorney has the discretion to charge you with either a felony or misdemeanor. Reducing your conviction to a misdemeanor restores your right to possess and own firearms for example and can eliminate potential immigration problems. It can also ease and expedite the expungement process. An expungement attorney from our office can offer this service to you as part of our representation.

  • Record Sealing

Another form of post-conviction relief pertains to sealing your arrest records or juvenile and drug diversion records. Arrest records may be sealed provided charges were either dismissed or you were never prosecuted. Under Sonoma County, California Penal Code Section 858.1, your arrest records may be sealed and not publicly accessible but only if a court determines that no reasonable cause exists to believe that you committed the offense for which you were charged. Prosecutors have discretion whether to charge you though there may be evidence that seemingly appears sufficient to link you to the crime. If a judge feels that there was probable or “reasonable” cause to believe you committed the crime regardless if you were charged, then your arrest records may not be sealed. An expungement attorney from the Expungement Law Group will review the facts of your arrest and advise you whether they meet the standard for sealing.

Juvenile records are often not available to the general public but it is worthwhile to have them sealed nonetheless to avoid any potential problems you may encounter as an adult. You must be at least 18 years old, or the juvenile court’s jurisdiction ended at least 5 years earlier, did not commit any crimes involving moral turpitude and have no pending criminal charges, and you present evidence of rehabilitation.

Drug diversion is available usually for first time offenders charged with possession. Once you successfully complete all terms and conditions in the diversion program, you can petition the court to have your arrest and other records sealed.

Contact Us to Get Started

An expungement lawyer from our office is available to discuss your case at no charge for an initial consultation. You can call us to discuss your case or schedule an appointment where we can determine which form of post-conviction relief may be available to you. Once you retain us, we will work quickly and diligently to get your documents filed and served and to get your life back on track towards a better future for you and your family.


About Sonoma County

Sonoma County, located on the northern coast of the U.S. state of California, is the largest (in area) and northernmost of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. Its population at the 2010 census was 483,878. Its largest city and county seat is Santa Rosa.

Sonoma is the southwestern county and largest producer of California's Wine Country region, which also includes Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties. It has 13 approved American Viticultural Areas and over 250 wineries. In 2002, Sonoma County ranked as the 32nd county in the United States in agricultural production. As early as 1920, Sonoma County was ranked as the eighth most agriculturally productive U.S county and a leading producer of poultry products, hops, grapes, prunes, apples and dairy products, largely due to the extent of available, fertile agricultural land, in addition to the abundance of high quality irrigation water. More than 7.4 million tourists visit each year, spending more than $1 billion in 2006. Sonoma County is the home of Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Sonoma County is home to several Native American tribes. By the 1830s, European settlement had set a new direction that would prove to radically alter the course of land use and resource management of this region. As of 2007, Sonoma County has rich agricultural land, albeit now largely divided between two nearly monocultural uses: grapes and pasturage. The voters have twice approved open space initiatives that have provided funding for public acquisition of natural areas, preserving forested areas, coastal habitat, and other open space.

Sonoma was one of the original counties formed when California became a state in 1850, with its county seat originally the town of Sonoma. However, by the early 1850s, the town of Sonoma had declined in importance in terms of both commerce and population, its county buildings were crumbling, and it was relatively remote. As a result, elements in the newer, rapidly growing towns of Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Healdsburg began vying to move the county seat to their towns. The dispute ultimately was between the bigger, richer commercial town of Petaluma and the more centrally located, growing agricultural center of Santa Rosa. The fate was decided following an election for the state legislature in which James Bennett of Santa Rosa defeated Joseph Hooker of Sonoma and introduced a bill that ultimately resulted in Santa Rosa being confirmed as county seat in 1854. Allegedly, several Santa Rosans, not caring to wait, decided to take action and, one night, rode down the Sonoma Valley to Sonoma, took the county seals and records, and brought them to Santa Rosa.

The county lies in the North Coast Ranges of northwestern California. Its ranges include the Mayacamas and the Sonoma Mountains, the southern peak of the latter being the prominent landform, Sears Point. The highest peak in the Mayacamas within the county is Hood Mountain. It has uncommon occurrences of pygmy forest, dominated by Mendocino Cypress. The highest peak of the Sonoma Mountains is Sonoma Mountain itself, which boasts two significant public access properties: Jack London State Historic Park and Fairfield Osborn Preserve.

The county includes the City of Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley, in which the City of Sonoma is located. However, these are not synonymous. The City of Sonoma is merely one of several incorporated cities in the county. The Sonoma Valley itself makes up only the southeastern portion of the county, which includes many other valleys and geographic zones. Moreover, the Sonoma Valley itself includes not only the City of Sonoma, but a portion of the City of Santa Rosa and the unincorporated communities of Kenwood, Agua Caliente, Boyes Hot Springs, and Fetters Hot Springs. Other regions of the county beyond the Sonoma Valley include, among others, the Petaluma Valley, the Santa Rosa Plains, the Russian River, the Alexander Valley, and the Dry Creek Valley.

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