There are a number of benefits to clearing past criminal convictions. From applying to jobs with a clean criminal record to preserving immigration status, obtaining an expungement will be helpful to you as you seek to rebuild your future.
Clearing Your Criminal Record
In the state of California, an “expungement” is a petition that a defendant in a criminal case can bring at the conclusion of probation. The petition asks the court to:
- Allow the defendant to withdraw any plea of guilty or no contest,
- Reenter a plea of not guilty, and
- Dismiss the case.
If granted, the expungement releases an individual from the negative consequences of a conviction, such as having the conviction on their criminal record or even risking deportation. Once a conviction has been expunged, it does not have to be disclosed to an employer, and you must be treated as though you have not had any convictions at all. You may also be eligible to apply for state professional government roles after expungement.
However, keep in mind that expunged convictions can also still be used as prior convictions in the context of future sentencing or legal violations. For instance, an expunged DUI conviction still counts as a prior conviction if you are later arrested for another DUI.
Note that it typically takes about 4-5 months to complete the expungement of a felony in California. Be aware that you should file your application at the court in the county where you were convicted.
Let Our San Francisco Attorney at Beahm Law Help You Start Fresh
Our team believes firmly in defending your right to a second chance. Expunging your prior conviction can give you the fresh start you deserve and finding the right expungement attorney will help you efficiently and appropriately do so. We care, we will fight, and we know how to win.