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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.

Expungement Process

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.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

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 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.

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Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

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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