What Does an Expungement Do in California?

These days, people want a clean record more than ever. However, few understand the options available and how expungement law works. That’s why I am often asked: “what does an expungement do in California?”

An expungement (actually know as a “petition for dismissal”) is a granted by motion under California law, typically via Penal Code, § 1203.4). The process involves filing a petition, along with any necessary evidence, in the court that you were originally convicted in. If the judge agrees with the motion, he or she will vacate your conviction and dismiss the case. That means: If a potential employer asks you if you’ve ever been convicted, you can honestly answer no! The conviction is gone, and legally speaking, it’s as if it never happened.

If you have a conviction on your record, a clean record can be a game changer for work, business, school, travel and more.

An expunged arrest or conviction changes the status of the case to that of a dismissal. After the expungement is granted, an arrest or a conviction ordinarily need not be disclosed by the person who was arrested or convicted. That means that, when filling out job application, an applicant whose arrest or conviction has been expunged can legally decline to disclose that prior arrest or conviction.

It is important to know that there are some places where you have to disclose expunged records.

1) the INS;

2) any state or local licensing agency (such as when applying for a nursing license);

3) contracts with the state lottery; and

4) in an application for public office.

In most cases, none of the above come into play and getting an expungement is achievable and well worth the investment.

So, what does an expungement do in California? A lot! Beahm Law has been extremely successful with expungement motions. In fact, they are granted more than 95% of the time!

If you would like to find out if you qualify for expungement, fill out this brief form, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.