Expunging Your Criminal Conviction in California | Los Angeles Expungement Lawyers
A criminal record can have an adverse impact on your family, social life, career, and finances. In today’s Internet and social media culture, your criminal background can follow you to new cities, jobs, and relationships at the click of a button. Often, you are given no opportunity to explain what happened or refute misinterpretations of a prior criminal conviction. Under California Penal Code section 1203.4, you can petition the court to expunge and dismiss prior convictions as long as probation has been successfully completed or terminated. While this form of post-conviction relief is hardly automatic on a first attempt, as long as you did not violate probation nor commit new crimes after the date of your conviction, the odds would be in your favor that the petition would be granted on the first attempt. If your conviction is successfully expunged, you would cease to be required to disclose the conviction when asked on a background check conducted by most private employers; however, there are some exceptions. Government agencies, professional licensing bodies, and private employers with government contracts, such as medical facilities or the aerospace industry require their applicants to disclose prior convictions, despite a successfully petitioned expungement. Although you will be disappointed with having to disclose an expunged conviction, you will still benefit from being able to disclose that the case was dismissed. Hiring trusted Los Angeles Expungement Lawyers is imperative for a successful outcome in your case.
Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP was established in Los Angeles in 1987 and we concentrate our legal expertise exclusively on criminal defense and post-conviction relief matters. Los Angeles expungement lawyers Paul Takakjian and Stephen Sitkoff have each practiced law for over 30 years as former senior prosecutors and both have witnessed the devastating long-term consequences associated with a criminal history. By petitioning the court to expunge your criminal record, we help you move forward personally and professionally by helping you close this chapter in your life.
Qualifications for sealing your record
You qualify for expungement either after your probation is successfully completed or terminated early, or in unique circumstances where you receive a terminal sentence on a misdemeanor plea in which no probation was ordered. However, it is important to note a misdemeanor conviction cannot be expunged until a year after the conviction date. Therefore, a criminal case outcome involving a terminal sentence would require you to wait at least a year from your date of conviction even though you are not currently on summary probation. While most misdemeanors and felonies can be expunged, not all convictions are eligible for expungement under California law as felony convictions, which resulted in a state prison sentence would be considered ineligible for post-conviction relief. For example, a felony DUI conviction under California Vehicle Code 23153 could be expunged if you were sentenced to either formal or informal probation, whereas a state prison sentence for the same offense would disqualify you.
Felony “wobblers” are also eligible for expungement as long as the conviction resulted in a sentence of probation. Before we expunge your felony conviction, if the conviction was to a wobbler offense, we seek to have your charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor first.
What happens when your record is expunged?
When your record is expunged, the disposition of the case in question is changed from “convicted” to “dismissed” — so you are no longer considered convicted. Unfortunately, an expungement will not erase a case from history. Therefore, although no longer considered a conviction, the case actually remains on your criminal history and may be considered under certain circumstances, such as:
- FBI or California law enforcement investigations
- Right to purchase or possess a firearm
- Sex offender registration
- Government-issued license applications
- Government employment applications
- Security clearance for certain jobs
- Holding a public office that the conviction would have prevented
- Refusal or revocation of a government license or permit, including for real estate agent, teacher or security guard
- Sentence enhancement based upon prior convictions
- Suspension or revocation of driving privileges by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Immigration status and removal or exclusion
Questions Regarding Expunging Your Record? Call Us Now For A Free Case Review
To keep a moment of poor judgment from your past from adversely affecting your future, call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 to learn more about the expungement process in Los Angeles, as well as how an expungement can benefit you. There is no obligation to retain our legal services and the consultation is free.