What is a Record Expungement?

Expungment can be generally defined as the process of destroying, sealing, or striking out records or information related to criminal charges that affect one’s criminal record. In effect, if you have a criminal record expunged, it is as if it never happened. This means you will no longer have a criminal record and you will have the freedom to not disclose a prior criminal conviction on a job or housing application. There are different kinds of expungements, which will vary depending on the kind of criminal case that you have and the factors that are involved.    

Do I Qualify for an Expungement?

California state law (CA Penal Code § 1203.4) allows one to expunge his or her criminal records for a misdemeanor or felony offense if s/he has successfully completed probation, is not currently charged with a criminal offense, on probation for another offense, or serving a sentence.   

It is important to note that those eligible for expungement must have been sent to state and not federal prison. Additionally, there are certain crimes that are not eligible for expungement.  These crimes include crimes against children (sodomy with a child, lewd acts with a child, statutory rape, etc.). Lastly, if you have not successfully completed your probation, you will be required to attend a special hearing for the court to decide whether you may be a candidate for expungement.

How Does Expungement Work?

It is recommended you hire a versed lawyer for this fairly complicated process. Your lawyer will need to draft a formal document called the expungement motion, requesting that the court take a specific action to expunge your record. It must be filed at the court where you received your sentencing and given to the prosecutor that handled your case. Procedurally, the prosecutor must be provided with at least 15 days notice prior to your expungement hearing in case s/he wants the opportunity to review your case and object. In certain instances, the probation department will also have to receive the expungement. Once the proper paperwork has been filed, you will then wait for and attend the expungement hearing in the designated court. At the hearing, the judge needs to believe that justice would be served by expunging your record. S/he also needs to believe that you are living an upright and honest life in order to grant your Order of Expungement.

San Diego Record Expungement Attorney

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje handles all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, including the expungement proceedings related to prior crimes. When expungement is done correctly, it can take away obstacles to professional licenses and gainful employment, as well as provide a person with closure. Do not allow your past that you have tried so hard to put behind, hold you back. If you are looking for a criminal expungement, contact attorney David Boertje today for a free and confidential consultation.