Articles Posted in Sealing

Many employers conduct criminal background checks when individuals apply for a job. If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime, getting a job can become a stressful undertaking because some employers do not hire individuals with arrest or conviction records. Depending on the job, some classes of convicted people may be prohibited by law from getting hired.

Problems with Criminal Background Check Reports

It is not uncommon for an applicant to have incorrect or missing information in their criminal background check report. Reports can be mismatched, contain inaccurate information, include someone else’s information, or misclassify the criminal offense.

Expunging or Sealing Criminal Conviction Records

People who committed crimes when they were minors or people who have old criminal convictions can seek that their arrest and criminal conviction records be expunged, meaning they are hidden or sealed from public disclosure. This helps individuals put past behavior away and keep it from affecting their future employment or housing prospects.

Federal Laws that Protect Individuals with Arrest and Conviction Records

There are two main laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII that protect individuals from discrimination in employment because of prior arrest and conviction records. Under the FCRA, background checks that look into an individual’s criminal records, may not include arrest records that are more than seven years old, unless the position pays more than $75,000 a year. Conviction records however, have no such time limit. Title VII prohibits discrimination including in job screening and hiring practices in employment and frowns upon employment practices that issue blanket prohibitions against employment people with prior arrests or convictions.

Charged with a Misdemeanor Crime in California?

It is important that a person accused of a crime talk with his or her criminal defense attorney to understand the impact of a criminal conviction on his or her employment options. Current jobs may be lost after a person pleads guilty to a crime and future job opportunities may be curtailed because of an arrest or criminal conviction.

For example, if you are employed in commercial driving and you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, you may lose your commercial drivers’ license immediately. No drivers’ license means you can not work while your case is pending.

If you have been charged with a crime in California, you can face either a misdemeanor or felony charge along with heavy fines and years of imprisonment. Contact a qualified San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney who can help mitigate penalties today and explain your legal rights and responsibilities. Continue reading

Because criminal records are public records, those with prior convictions need to know that there are certain circumstances which may qualify them to get their records “wiped.” These vessels by which one’s records can be cleaned vary depending on the type of crime and state law involved.

Expungements

Expungements are defined as the legal process of cleaning up one’s criminal record.  They are a good option to put your prior conviction behind, as it involves the court reopening your case, withdrawing your plea or guilty verdict, dismissing the charges, and re-closing the case without a conviction.  Legally speaking, a successful motion for expungement has the effect of dismissing a prior criminal conviction, and you can therefore claim in future job interviews, housing applications, etc. that you do not have a conviction on your record.  California Penal Code Section 1203.4 authorizes the most common kind of expungement relief that exists in California (ie. cases in which probation was part of the sentence, cases in which there was no probation, felonies in which you only served time in county jail, and cases where a felony conviction was reduced down to a conviction).  In order for an expungement to take place, your lawyer will have to file a formal document in court requesting that they take a specific action (the expungement motion). This motion must be filed at the court where you received your sentencing and given to the prosecutor that handled your case, and must claim in good faith that you are now living an upright and honest life.