It is a common belief that once you’ve been convicted of a crime your criminal record will follow you forever. Indeed, this is true in California – unless your matter resolved without a conviction and you receive an order granting a motion for factual innocence under Penal Code section 851.8 or a Petition to Seal under Penal Code section 851.91, you will have a permanent criminal record. However, there are ways to change the language reflected on that criminal record and convert a conviction to a dismissal.
This procedure is referred to as the expungement process in California under Penal Code section 1203.4. Although it does not completely delete your criminal record or wipe away the entries it does change it from a conviction to a dismissal which in turn allows you to answer that you have never been convicted of a crime for most purposes.
An experienced Alameda expungement lawyer understands the crippling effect that a criminal conviction can have on your life. As such, an experienced defense attorney you choose to retain could be dedicated to helping you understand California’s criminal dismissal laws and help you with the process of getting a fresh start. En Español.
Almost any criminal conviction in the State of California is eligible for dismissal. The only total exception to this rule is if a court sentenced a defendant to a term in state prison as a result of their conviction. This type of punishment only applies to people who are convicted of felonies, so all misdemeanor-level offenses and violations may qualify for expungement.
However, there are certain criminal offenses that may never be dismissed from a criminal record. These include:
For all other offenses, courts are required to either accept a petitioner’s request for a dismissal or—at a minimum—formally consider the request. The path taken by the court depends on whether the defendant fulfilled the terms of their sentence without incident.
In most instances, courts must allow a request for a dismissal of a misdemeanor if the defendant received probation or a jail term and completed the requirements of the sentence. This includes paying all fines and not currently having another charge.
Courts also have the discretion to allow for a dismissal under certain circumstances. This alternative option typically applies when a court sentences a defendant to probation, but the defendant did not comply with all the terms which resulted in a probation violation.
In this situation, a person can apply for a dismissal if they have since fulfilled all the terms of probation and remained out of trouble and the judge will determine if the request should be granted despite the violation. An Alameda expungement attorney can help determine if a person qualifies for an expungement.
California Penal Code §1203.4 provides the legal framework by which a defendant can apply for a dismissal. Petitioners begin the process by completing Form CR-180 and submitting it to the superior court in the county where the conviction took place. This petition must also be served upon the office of the prosecutor who pursued the case.
Petitioners must submit one copy of this form for each conviction they wish to have dismissed. Once all the paperwork is complete, the clerk of the court can set a hearing date.
Petitioners should be prepared to present the reasons why their record should be expunged in situations where the court has the discretion to make a decision. An expungement lawyer in Alameda could help with filing an appropriate petition, points and authorities, and declarations in support and then argue in court as to why the judge should grant their request.
A criminal conviction is not something that you are likely to forget. Whether the conviction results in a period of probation or even a jail sentence, it is often a life-changing event. However, California law allows many defendants convicted of crimes to have their criminal convictions dismissed in specific situations.
An Alameda expungement lawyer could help you understand how the dismissal process works, determine if you qualify under the State’s program, and pursue a dismissal in superior court. Call today to schedule an initial meeting and discuss your goals.
The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.
We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.
As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.
From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.
We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.
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Case Dismissed after Completion of Drug Court
All Charges Dismissed and Property Ordered to be Returned to Client
Deferred Entry of Judgment
Case Dismissed without Trial
Motion to Vacate Granted
Restraining Order Denied and Sealed
Both Cases Dismissed Prior to Trial
No Charges Filed
No Criminal Charges Filed & Detention
No Jail Time & No Sex Offender Registration
Pled to 1 Petty Misdemeanor and Not Required to Register as Sex Offender
The Nieves Law firm was a great choice in helping me through my restraining order case, the whole team there does a great job at walking you through the steps of the legal process. Jose is a great lawyer and is good at what he does, in court he really shines and is able to debate the case very well and professionally. I would definitely pick them again if I had to!
Thank you to my attorney Grace for all your help with my case. It took awhile but the outcome has made me so happy that I am able to move forward with my life and forget the past. Everyone at this law firm from the beginning to the end have been so helpful and supportive. I highly recommend The Nieves Law Firm!
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Thank you to the whole Nieves legal team, especially to my attorney, Mari Bowie, for being so supportive, helpful, and professional to me and my family in these hard times in my life. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a law firm that actually looks at you as a human-being first and cares about your well-being. I appreciate all the support they’ve given and will go to them again if I ever need to down the road.
The Nieves Law Firm has an outstanding team of attorneys who are supportive and provide exceptional Client service. The founding attorney Jo-Anna, firmly stands on her mission and is backed by a team with expertise. You can trust you’ll be in good hands and that their team will give their absolute best to help you. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney look no further they are knowledgeable and honestly the best to work with!