Expungement Eligibility in Oakland
There are few things in life that can haunt you as long as a criminal record. One mistake can wreak havoc on your life for years to come. In California, residents who have been convicted of certain crimes may be able to move past their crime through a petition for dismissal — this process is commonly referred to as an expungement. Not all convictions are eligible for expungement; but if you do have a charge that qualifies, this process can offer peace of mind and eliminate professional and personal barriers that a criminal record could create. To learn more about the process involved with expunging your record and whether you are eligible, consult with an Oakland expungement attorney with our firm today.
Typically an expungement is a legal process whereby certain criminal offenses can be erased from your record if specific qualifying criteria are met. In California, expungements are actually petitions for dismissal and are addressed in Penal Code 1203.4. An expungement in California does not erase the conviction from your record; instead, your record will be noted that the charge has been dismissed.
Notwithstanding, many clients benefit from the peace of mind that this process brings them as well as the practical benefits they receive. If a criminal offense is dismissed from your record, you will not have to disclose the crime on most job applications. It can also be the first step towards obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation or a pardon if your offense was a felony. Overall, expungement allows you to move past some of the barriers that come into effect when a criminal record exists.
Limits of Expungement
Although expungements can make a client’s life better, it is not a magic solution. There are some things that an expungement can’t do for a client. These include:
- Completely remove the charge from your record
- Reinstate your right to possess firearms
- Prevent you from having to register as a sex offender
- Prevent the conviction from being counted as a “prior” in future sentencing
- Prevent the conviction from impacting your immigration status
- Who qualifies for expungement?
Eligibility to Have a Record Sealed
There are very specific criteria that must be met for a California resident to have a charge expunged from their record. Your record may be eligible for expungement if:
- You were given probation for your offense and have since completed all the terms of your probation and you are not serving a sentence or currently on probation for any other offense
- You were denied probation, but have waited a year after your conviction before applying for expungement and are not currently serving a sentence or on probation for any other offense
- Your criminal conviction was reduced to an infraction
- You did not go to state prison
If certain conditions apply to your case, you won’t be able to petition for a dismissal. For instance, you may be ineligible if:
- You’re still serving a sentence, you’re still on probation, or you’ve been charged with committing a different offense.
- You were arrested and convicted of a different crime within a year of your last judgment.
- You failed to appear or didn’t pay fines to the Department of Motor Vehicles or to the Department of Revenue Recovery.
- Probation for your current application was revoked.
- You’re also ineligible to apply if your conviction falls into a certain category such as most sex crimes. If your case ended in a traffic conviction, you can’t use the 1203.4 petition process—you’ll have to contact the Traffic Division of the Superior Court.
At the Nieves Law Firm, we understand that expungement can help you move past old mistakes and start fresh again. That’s why we offer our clients a dedicated team who can guide you through the process of expunging your criminal record in California.