Orange County Expungement Lawyers
How a Lawyer Can Help in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino & Los Angeles
If you have a conviction on your record, speaking with a Orange County expungement lawyer is in your best interest. Everyone makes mistakes, but some are forced to pay for them for the rest of their lives. If you have been convicted of a crime, it can become tough to find a good job, get into college, or start a relationship. A person’s criminal history is more accessible now than ever, leaving those with criminal records with very few options.
If you are ready to get your life back in order after being convicted of a crime, you may want to have your record expunged. The process can be complicated, and it is a good idea to find a lawyer that understands expungements to help you get things in order.
The first step toward clearing your record of your offense is speaking with one of our experienced Orange County lawyers. We offer free professional case evaluations to all first-time callers. Once contacted, one of our attorneys will immediately evaluate your case and discuss your options. Every situation is different, and we will not be able to give you proper guidance until we are fully aware of your circumstance.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our criminal defense lawyers have worked with countless alleged criminals found guilty of serious crimes. We know how vital a clean slate is and will investigate every possible course of action available. With several decades of experience, flat fees for those who qualify, and a history of obtaining favorable case outcomes, you can rest assured that you will receive top-notch legal representation at an affordable price.
100% Success Rate on Expungements. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (844) 285-9559 today.
Crimes Ineligible for Expungement
In addition to crimes punished by state prison sentences, certain California criminal offenses cannot be expunged.
The following are examples of crimes that are not eligible for expungement:
- Penal Code Section 261.5, Statutory Rape
- Penal Code Section 288, Lewd Acts with a Minor Child
Commonly Expunged Crimes
There are many crimes and convictions that can be expunged from your record once you have successfully completed the terms of your sentencing.
Crimes that are commonly expunged include:
- Possession Charges
- Receiving stolen property
In California, you can get your criminal records expunged under Penal Code 1203.4 PC if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense and you successfully completed probation. What does it mean to have successfully completed probation? You must have completed all the terms of your probation, including paying all fines, restitution, finishing community service counseling programs, etc. You should have attended all required court appearances and must not have committed any new crimes while still on probation.
Additionally, you must not currently be charged with a criminal offense, be on probation, or be serving a sentence.
Benefits Of Clearing Your Record
An expungement will result in a new entry in the court record showing that your case has been dismissed. It will allow you to state on many (but not all) job applications that you have not been convicted. If you are applying for a government job or a job that requires a government-issued license, certificate, permit, or job that requires security clearance, the conviction will be discovered. In such cases, you may have to disclose the initial conviction as well as the expungement.
An expungement can also help you prevent the use of the conviction to impeach you if you testify as a witness unless you are being tried for a subsequent offense. If the conviction was for a felony, expungement is a first step in getting a pardon.
The benefits of clearing your record include:
- Employment: Clearing your record will help you look desirable to potential employers.
- Obtaining a State License: To obtain a contractor or real estate license, you may have to have your criminal record expunged.
- Avoid Immigration Consequences: In some cases, clearing your court record may help you to avoid mandatory removal and loss of immigration benefits.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
For honest advice about realistic outcomes in your expungement case and the strategies that can be used to work toward a favorable result, speak with one of our Orange County lawyers.
Commonly Asked Questions About Expungement
How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Record Expunged in California?
The exact cost of having a crime expunged from your record will vary. However, filing the petition yourself will cost somewhere between $100 and $400. You may need the help of an attorney in order to make a better case to the judge for expungement, especially if your case is particularly complex.
How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Misdemeanor in California?
In California, you can expect an expungement for a misdemeanor to be granted in about 4 to 5 weeks after the application has been filed with the court.
How Do you get a Felony Expunged in California?
Before you can start the process of getting a felony expunged from your record, you need to make sure you have completed all of the terms of your punishment. That means you have paid any fines or restitution that were due, you have served your jail time, and you have completed the terms of your probation.
Once you are ready to begin the expungement process, you will need to obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Superior Court in the county where you were convicted of your felony. A felony conviction isn’t as easy to expunge as a misdemeanor because you will need to petition the court to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor before you can proceed with the expungement process. If you are granted the reduction, you can file your petition.
If you cannot get your felony reduced or you are not granted the expungement, you can try and receive a Certificate of Rehabilitation instead. The process will likely require the services of an attorney as it can be complicated.
Do Expunged Records Show on Background Checks for Employment?
In most cases, an expunged record will not show up on a background check for employment. The court record of your initial conviction will still remain, but you are allowed to legally say that you have not been convicted of a crime on your application. A general background check done by an employer or a college is not likely to pull up a record that is expunged.
If you are applying for a government position that requires security clearances, your expunged conviction may be found during your federal FBI background check because the FBI database sometimes still holds convictions that have been cleared by the states. If you are applying for one of those types of convictions, it is a good idea to disclose your expungement before the background check rather than waiting to see if it comes back.
Is Expunged the Same as Dismissed?
No, they are not the same. A dismissed case means that you were charged with a crime, but it was thrown out or dismissed, and you were never convicted. The record of the arrest is still there, but it is not a conviction. An expungement is done after a conviction and the terms of the sentencing have been met. It is basically sealed from your record and should not show up in a background check.
How Long Does it Take for your Record to Clear After Expungement?
The length of time it takes for your record to clear can depend on how old the case is and how busy the courts may be during the time you have filed your petition. Generally, it will take 90 to 120 days for your record to clear. If your case is more than 10 years old, it may take longer.
Can You Have a Felony Expunged in California?
Technically a felony charge cannot be expunged in California, but you can have your felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor. Once the charge has been reduced, then you are able to start the process of expungement. You will likely want to hire an attorney to navigate this process because it can be long and complicated.
Do Expunged Records Show Up on Federal Background Checks?
In most cases, an expunged record will not show up on a background check. However, the FBI is not always required to remove sealed or expunged criminal records from its database. It can happen that the FBI reports an expunged conviction.
What Criminal Records Cannot Be Expunged?
In the state of California, any serious sexual crime against a child cannot be expunged. The following crimes will not be allowed to be expunged even after the terms of the punishment have been fulfilled:
- Penal Code 286(c): Sodomy with a child
- Penal Code 288: Lewd acts with a child
- Penal Code 288a(c): Oral copulation with a child
- Penal Code 261.5(d): Statutory rape
A felony conviction cannot be expunged unless it has been dropped down to a misdemeanor conviction.
Does Expungement Clear Your Record?
In most cases, an expungement will clear your record even during an employment background check. Under California law, you are legally allowed to answer that you have never committed a crime if your record has been expunged.
It is possible that your expunged conviction will show up on an FBI background check if the conviction has not been removed from the FBI’s databases. Also, a conviction that is “prior-able” will not be eliminated with an expungement. For instance, even if a DUI is expunged, you can still be charged with a second DUI if you are caught again within the 10-year period. This will mean that your sentencing will be considered as a second offense even though the first offense has been expunged.
If you are attempting to have convictions removed from your record with an expungement, consult with an attorney that is well-versed in the procedure. You will have a better chance of getting your conviction expunged when you have someone on your side familiar with the system and knowledgeable of all the steps involved. This is especially true if you need to get a felony conviction lowered to a misdemeanor before you can begin the expungement process.
What’s the Difference Between Sealing Your Record and an Expungement?
Sealing and destroying arrest records is a completely different process from expunging criminal records. You may be able to have your records sealed if you were arrested, but the prosecutor never filed criminal charges. You could also have your records sealed if your case was dismissed in court or if you were acquitted by a jury after a jury trial. This basically allows you to tell future employers that you have been arrested on suspicion of a crime, but that the charges never materialized or that you were never really convicted of the crime.
Juvenile records may also be sealed in California. You may be eligible if you are currently an adult who has not been convicted of any crimes of moral turpitude (a crime involving dishonesty or immoral behavior). In order to seal your juvenile court records, you must not have any pending civil litigation based on the juvenile incident. Once a motion to seal and destroy your records is granted by a judge, the arrest record is ordered sealed for three years and destroyed after that time.
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