A criminal record is a blemish on a person’s life. This blemish can keep a person from obtaining normal aspects of life such as a job or a lease on an apartment. There is one step a person can take to wipe the slate clean and get a fresh start on life. This step is called a record expungement.
What is a Record Expungement?
A record expungement is a legal process in which a lawyer submits a request to the court to remove a criminal record, under California Law. This process can give a person freedom and peace of mind because once the process is complete, the person does not have to reveal the criminal act that was once holding him or her back from certain opportunities. The person will be able to say, “No, I do not have a conviction on record.”
There are different types of expungements, with each type depending upon the criminal case and the factors involved. Keep in mind that record expungements are not available to all individuals. In order to get a record expungement, a person must qualify.
Criteria for Record Expungement
Expungement is an option for individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors or felonies. There are certain requirements a person must meet in order to get a record expungement. The criteria are as follows:
- State convictions and state prison only
- Probation term successful or conviction date is older than one year
- Sentence requirements have been satisfied
- No current charges pending
- Not currently on probation
- No crimes involving sex crimes against children and others according to California Penal Code 1203.4
All hope is not lost if you do not meet these requirements. Below, we list the options for those who are ineligible for record expungement.
What if I am Not Eligible for Expungement?
For those who do not meet the criteria for record expungement, the options are:
- A pardon from the governor
- Clemency (Certificate of Rehabilitation or Commutation)
These options require an application and investigation of criminal history records, court and police records.
What a Record Expungement Does and Does Not do
A record expungement can help a person achieve success in life. A person can obtain gainful employment, get a professional license, and get a fresh start. However, an expungement does not make that person invincible.
While the expungement only removes the conviction from a person’s record, there are instances in which the expunged record may need to be disclosed. It is also important to note that the record expungement does not restore a person’s driving privileges. Continue reading