Clients often ask us whether they are eligible for an expungement, and how to have a past conviction expunged from their record.

Changes in the law and technology means that a background check is a reality for all sort of important situations, such as promotions, professional licenses, immigration, Global Entry and TSA precheck.

Expungement eligibility exists in the case of defendants convicted of most infractions, misdemeanors and felonies, assuming that:

• You have successfully completed probation for the offense, and

• You did serve time in state prison for the offense, or served time in state prison, but meet the exception under Prop 47.1.

Under Penal Code 1203.4, an expungement relieves you of most “all penalties and disabilities” arising out of the past conviction, including the important fact that this does not need to be disclosed to potential employers.

It is important to remember that a conviction cannot be expunged if you were sentenced to state prison UNLESS the crime is one for which you would now be sentenced to jail.

There are also certain criminal offenses in California that cannot be expunged, including serious sex offenses committed against children, such as

  • Penal Code 286(c)
  • Penal Code 288
  • Penal Code 288a (c)
  • Penal Code 261.5(d)

Generally speaking, you cannot have your case expunged if you violated your probation. However, there are exceptions:

The court can hold a special hearing to determine whether despite a probation violation, you are nonetheless a good candidate for expungement. In this case, the court would consider,

  • the totality of your performance while on probation,
  • the seriousness of the underlying conviction,
  • your total criminal history, and
  • any additional evidence that shows why you are deserving of an expungement, such as
    • the opportunity to obtain a good job,
    • the support of your family, and
    • strong community ties.

Why get an expungement?

We all make mistakes. The most necessary and important things in life are hard with a conviction–few employers will forgive a criminal conviction. Regardless of what you have accomplished in life since your conviction, it is very hard to get anyone to look past the conviction. To some people, it feels as if all that matters is that one silly mistake they made a long time ago. And yet, the fact of the matter is, you have a criminal record.

The good news is that California is a state that has a process for expunging certain infractions, misdemeanor and felony convictions. Beahm Law is the premier expungement law firm in the Bay Area, successfully expunging criminal convictions in all California counties.

If you are ready to put your past behind you, we are ready to help. Our firm can handle the entire expungement case for you, from filing to obtaining your proof of expungement from the court. Many of our clients have said that getting an expungement was the best investment that they have ever made and that it has paid off for them every day of their life.

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