Misdemeanor Expungement

Misdemeanors are lower level criminal offenses, though you can still serve up to one year in county jail if you are a multiple offender or your offense was particularly egregious. Although a misdemeanor conviction does not carry the same stigma as a felony and does not result in loss of some rights such as the right to own or possess a firearm, having one on your public record can present you with substantial obstacles. Criminal background checks for employment are now routine and done in about 80% of cases. Landlords now commonly require a criminal background check for liability purposes if not to exclude potential trouble makers and those who may have trouble keeping up with the rent. Even if you are dating, anyone can use any number of online criminal background sites to see if you have a criminal record.

The good news is that most misdemeanor offenses can be expunged. An expungement is a procedure where after you file a petition, a judge can review your conviction, see if certain conditions have been met, determine if an expungement is the best interest of the court and then change your plea or guilty verdict to not guilty and dismiss the charges. Once that is done, the major criminal databases will receive an order to change its data so that your offense is no longer on your public record.

For a misdemeanor or for any other criminal offense, contact an attorney from the Expungement Law Group to handle your petition for expungement.

What is a Misdemeanor?

Examples of misdemeanors are assault with no or minimal injury, some domestic violence, DUI, petty theft, public drunkenness, driving with a suspended license, prostitution offenses and reckless driving. Some of these are considered wobbler offenses, meaning that the district attorney or prosecutor has the discretion to charge you with either a misdemeanor or felony. In some cases, you may only be charged with an infraction, which does not carry any jail time.

One of our expungement lawyers can answer any questions you may have regarding the nature of your offense as it pertains to obtaining an expungement.

What are the Conditions for an Expungement?

Before you can file a petition seeking expungement of a misdemeanor, you must meet the following conditions:

  • No time served any time in state prison
  • All conditions of your probation must have been satisfied or completed including payment of any fines or restitution, treatment programs or community service
  • There are no outstanding or pending criminal charges for any other offense
  • Your offense did not involve sexual misconduct involving a minor
  • The offense did not include certain types of pornography matters

There are some exceptions regarding the offenses for which the court will generally not grant relief. Consult with an expungement attorney from our office to determine if you have met all the required conditions or if an exception exists for you.

When Can I apply for an Expungement?

You can file your 1203.4 petition the day after you have successfully completed your probation. If you were not placed on probation, however, as is the case for most infractions, you must wait one year from the date of sentencing before you can file your petition.

How Does an Expungement Benefit Me?

Once the court grants you an expungement, an order is sent to the major criminal databases to change their records so that the general public no longer has access to your record of conviction. Your record is not actually destroyed but is effectively sealed. It may be used by the district attorney and court, however, if you are charged and convicted of a subsequent crime to enhance your sentence. For DUI cases, your expunged conviction is a prior offense if your second DUI is committed within 10 years of the last one. A second DUI usually means spending time in county jail, having an ignition interlock system installed on your car, and a longer license suspension.

You can, however, state on most employment and rental applications that you have never been convicted of a crime. You can also apply for state certifications, certain student loans and housing assistance. Ask an expungement lawyer from our office about how an expungement can result in more opportunities for you.

Trust the Expungement Law Group

Attorney from our office have been handling California expungements and other forms of post-conviction relief for years with a success rate of well over 90%. Though many expungement matters are routine, many are not and require the diligence and knowledge of one of our expungement attorneys to get you the relief you want and need. Contact an attorney from the Expungement Law Group to get you a fresh start and on the way to a better and brighter future.




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