HOW TO GET YOUR CRIMINAL CASE
“EXPUNGED” OR RECORD CLEARED...
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is also called a sealing of a criminal record which occurs when a Court grants a individual’s motion to clean his or her record so that a past criminal conviction(s) is no longer on the individual’s record. The expungement process begins when an action is filed with the court where the conviction took place, requesting the court to dismiss, or set aside, the criminal conviction. Most misdemeanors and many felony convictions can be expunged from a person’s record. Serious felonies, in which a person served prison time (not county jail time), can not be expunged. Alternative methods must be used to clean a serious felony from a person’s record.
Since not all criminal convictions can be expunged, it is important you inquire about you case with an attorney experienced in expungements, like attorney Ann Gottesman.
Why Get an Expungement?
Getting your criminal record cleared (“expunged”) is very important for those who are applying for jobs or educational programs that require a background check. There are many employers and schools who will not accept applicants with a criminal record. If your record is successfully expunged, then no criminal conviction will appear on your record when a background check is done.
How Long Does an Expungement Take?
Expungements for a misdemeanor case will usually take between 4 to 6 weeks from the date the action is filed to be completed. In other words, a person’s record is usually cleared within 4 to 6 weeks from the date the action was filed at the court.
Expungements for felony cases will usually take the same amount of time (4 to 6 weeks) although more time may be needed if research is necessary. Many felonies can be reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged from the individual’s record.
As of 2011, a new law was enacted to revise Penal Code section 1203.4, which is the expungement statute. Prior to 2011, only misdemeanors and most felonies were eligible for expungement (i.e., record cleaning). However, now those who have been convicted of certain infractions such as driving on a suspended license, driving without a valid driver’s license, petty theft, marijuana possession, etc…, are eligible for dismissal pursuant to the expungement statute after one year from the date of conviction. As a Los Angeles expungement attorney, I have successfully cleaned many of my client’s criminal records. After my client’s records are cleaned and their criminal and infraction charges dismissed, these clients now have a better chance of finding gainful employment with employers who conduct background checks. It is ironic that before this newlaw to effect in January of 2011, those with felony convictions could earn a dismissal through an expungement but a person convicted of a traffic infraction like driving on a suspended license could not!
How Do I Get Started?
Contact experienced Pasadena expungement attorney Ann Gottesman for a FREE consultation. She will advise you as to whether you case(s) can be expunged and what to do next.