California Felony Expungement Attorney - Experienced California Lawyers Expunging Felonies

At the Expungement Attorney Group, our expert lawyers will assist you expunge felonies. California law permits persons convicted of infractions, misdemeanors and felonies to have their record of conviction expunged. An expungement effectively removes a conviction and changes it to a dismissal so that you can answer without fear of purgery that you have not been convicted of a crime. Your record, however, is not destroyed but is essentially sealed off from access by the general public.

A criminal record presents an obstacle in many areas of daily life and convicted felons are treated especially harshly. In some states, ex-felons are not allowed to vote. Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felon from owning or possessing firearms and you will lose your professional license or have your application for one summarily denied. Finding suitable employment or housing can be a significant challenge for felons as well.

An expungement, though, can help you once again enjoy those opportunities now closed to you with some exceptions. Having a knowledgeable expungement lawyer from the Expungement Law Group working for you can mean the difference between continuing to experience the frustration and humiliation of a felony record or being able to once again enjoy life and the opportunity to achieve your potential.

The California Expungement Law

Under Penal Code Section 1203.4, anyone who has successfully completed their probation or sentence may petition the court to have their conviction dismissed. If granted, you can ask for an order of expungement that sets aside either your plea of guilty, nolo contendre or verdict of guilty if you were tried.

The major effect of an expungement is that you no longer have to disclose your felony conviction and can state under oath that you have never been convicted of the offense that has been expunged. The only exceptions are that you do have to disclose the conviction if you are applying for a public or professional license, are running for public office or seeking a contract with the California State Lottery Commission. Your conviction and expungement must also be disclosed if you are seeking employment with law enforcement, a public school teaching position, the courts or any other governmental agency. Your expungement in many of these circumstances does not disqualify you from gaining employment in these areas.

Other considerations regarding an expungement include the fact that your record is not destroyed and can still be viewed or accessed by the courts and used to enhance your sentence if you commit another crime. The DMV can use a prior expunged DUI to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. As indicated, your right to possess or own a firearm is prohibited unless we can have your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor before we seek to have it expunged.

Eligibility for Expungement

Before you can file for an expungement and dismissal of your conviction, you must first complete all the terms of your probation and not have served any time in state prison. Because your probation may be at least 3 years with many being 5 or more, our attorneys at the Expungement Law Group can apply for early termination of your probation after you have served 50%.

There are offenses for which expungement will not be granted. If your crime involved lewd contact with a minor, statutory rape if you are over 21 and the minor was 16 or younger, or any other sexual misconduct involving a minor, your offense is not eligible. Murder and kidnapping are ineligible as well. If you do re-offend for the same offense, you risk having your expunged offense invalidated. In any event, it can be used to enhance your sentence or even add a strike under California’s Three-Strike’s law.

For those felons who did serve state prison time, our attorneys can request a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which automatically qualifies you for a potential Governor’s Pardon and which can be used to open up some doors of opportunity previously closed to you. You do have to wait at least 7 years after completion of your sentence before applying.

Effect of a Probation Violation

Probation violations are common and the jails and prisons are full of people who re-offended or committed a violation of a term or condition of their probation, which may or may not have constituted a criminal offense such as testing positive for an illegal substance or drinking in a bar. Though you may have violated your probation, it is still possible to obtain an expungement under certain circumstances.

The court will review your violation, the nature of your underlying offense, how long you have been on probation and if you complied with all terms of it, your criminal history if any, and if you are deserving of expungement. Your expungement lawyer can present documentary or testamentary evidence to indicate your ties to the community, volunteerism, efforts to support your family and your inability to advance your career because of your conviction.

The Process of Expungement

After our attorneys determine that your offense may be expunged, we will gather your court records indicating the details of your offense, plea, sentence and terms of probation. You must have completed your probation before we can file the petition for you. We will then file with the court a Section 1203.4 or 1203.4a Petition with the relevant information and serve it on the district attorney and probation department in the county where your plea or verdict was received. A court date is set but you rarely have to attend unless your expungement is being challenged or the court wants arguments presented. If so, arguments on both sides should not take more than 30 minutes combined and then the court will take the matter under submission before issuing the order or reason for denial.

Your chances of success are very good and our expungement lawyers will advise you if you have a difficult case. The information that you provide us at your consultation will give us most of the information we need to make a determination on the likelihood of obtaining an expungement and the work we will need to do to achieve it. Having violated probation does make the process more difficult but certainly not impossible. Of course, the longer you have served as a law-abiding citizen, the more likely your expungement will be granted.

Once the court does grant your expungement, we will work diligently to see that the criminal databases of the most commonly used background check companies are promptly changed to reflect the changes.

Contact the Expungement Law Group for an accurate assessment of your case and for an attorney who will work to get you the relief you desire and a deserved chance for a better life.




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