Having a criminal record can have serious implications, especially when it comes to seeking new employment opportunities. Employers may use the convictions you have against you, even if they are for minor offenses, thereby limiting career advancement.
Additionally, having a criminal record can impact you in many ways, such as: your ability to freely travel; your ability to obtain a certification license from a state licensing authority; and restriction your ability to own a firearm.
Here at Blucker Law, we have handled numerous cases relating to post conviction relief. We have experience in handling simple expungements for minor crimes, more complex expungements for felonies, to very complicated cases involving Certificates of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon. Additionally, we help serve individuals that have concerns with state licensing authorities relating to their past convictions. At Blucker Law, we know all the roadmaps that would be applicable to remedy your particular situation.
Eligibility for Expungement
Generally, expungement relief is available for a misdemeanor or felony offenses as long as all the requirements were met, provided that the individual:
- Successfully completed probation (misdemeanor or felony) AND
- Is not currently:
- Charged with a criminal offense;
- On probation for a criminal offense; or
- Serving a sentence for a criminal offense
The individual applying for expungement relief must have successfully completed probation in its entirety. However, it can still be possible to file a joint motion for early termination of probation and expungement at the same time to address your situation.
Successfully Completing Probation
To successfully complete probation means that the individual:
- Completed all terms and conditions of their probation mandated by the court (i.e., paid all fines and restitution relating to the case, completed any counseling programs, DUI program, community service, etc.)
- Attended all court appearances
- Did not commit any new crimes while on probation
Not Eligible for Expungement
Generally, a conviction cannot be expunged if the person who was convicted was in state prison unless the crime is one for which the person would now be sentenced to jail.
There are also certain criminal offenses in California that don’t qualify for expungement. These can include sex-related crimes or crimes that could be classified as inherently dangerous felonies.
Inquire more with us to find out if there would be more limitations to your particular situation.
Effects of an Expungement
In California, once an expungement is approved by a judge, your guilty or no contest plea will be set aside whereas a new plea of “not guilty” will be entered into the court record and the judge will formally “dismiss” your case. The court will then notify the Department of Justice of this change and an individual’s “rap sheet” will be updated with information from the court.
An individual who has an expungement granted by a judge, can legally answer “No” if they are asked if they have been convicted of a crime. However, there are some limitations to this scenario. For example, the response can depend on if the individual is filling out an application to become a police officer or gain certification through a state licensing authority. You will inquire more with us so we can figure out your needs.
Additionally, it’s very common nowadays for employers to ask applicants to list “expunged” convictions as part of their job application. Many California state licensing authorities require expungement of a conviction before they will issue a license to that individual.
AB 1008, California’s “Ban the Box” legislation, took effect in January 2018. The new law prohibits employers from looking into an applicant’s criminal history before the employer has made a conditional offer of employment. After making an offer of employment, an employer cannot deny the applicant because of a conviction without making an independent assessment.
California law still prohibits employers from asking about, or considering, criminal convictions that have been expunged. California’s “Ban the Box” takes the law a step further. It bars employers from considering any criminal conviction, expunged or not, prior to making a conditional job offer. The law applies to both felony charges and misdemeanor charges in California.
Other Alternative Options – Certificate of Rehabilitation/Governor’s Pardon
People who are not eligible for an expungement may be eligible for relief of their offenses through:
A Certificate of Rehabilitation and/or California governor’s pardon
Frequently Asked Questions
Inquire with us today for your free case assessment. We’re here to serve your needs.