Being convicted of a crime, and serving out a punishment, unfortunately, is oftentimes not the end of an individual’s ordeal. Having a criminal conviction on one’s record can mean a much tougher experience in obtaining a job, receiving a business license, or applying for credit, as well as any number of other barriers that society has deemed necessary. Fortunately, California provides a procedure by which certain individuals convicted of a crime can have their record expunged. As the vast majority of individuals will need to undertake this procedure only once, it is especially important to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist in the expungement process, as the process is complex, and the failure to adhere to all nuances could mean denial of a petition. However, although California has recently expanded the offenses which are eligible for expungement, as well as streamline the process, it still is a time-consuming. As a recent article illustrates, a group advocating for those who are able to have their records expunged have developed an algorithm to assist in doing just that.
As mentioned above, only certain crimes are eligible for expungement under to the current procedure. Specifically, expungement is not available for the following crimes:
- Sodomy with a child;
- Committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child;
- Oral copulation of a child;
- Statutory rape, which prohibits sexual intercourse between persons who are 21 years and older and persons younger than 16;
- Any offense involving child pornography;
- Forcible penetration with a foreign object; and
Additionally, if an individual served time in State prison, that individual would only be eligible for expungement if the underlying crime is one that would qualify for a sentence to serve time in a county prison at the time of filing the petition for expungement.
In addition to the crimes listed above, only certain individuals are eligible for expungement. Pursuant to statute, the following individuals are the only persons eligible for expungement:
- The individual successfully completed probation (either felony or misdemeanor, as appropriate); and
- The individual is not currently:
- Charged with a criminal offense,
- On probation for a criminal offense, or
- Serving a sentence for a criminal offense.
To have a record expunged, an individual who meets the above eligibility requirements, as well as the above crime requirements, may petition the State for expungement. In doing so, he/she will need to acquire a copy of his/her criminal record, and submit it for review by the ruling judge. If all the required elements are met, then, thanks to the new process for expungement, the judge is given no discretion on whether to grant the request, and, instead, is required by statute to expunge the individual’s record. Accordingly, speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney before beginning the expungement process will serve to ascertain whether a case is eligible for expungement.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been convicted of a crime in California, and are curious about the possibility of having your record expunged, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Manshoory Law Group, APC as soon as possible. Time is never on your side. The attorneys at our office have years of experience handling criminal defense matters, including how to get your record expunged. We will use this experience to give you the best chance at clearing your name. Contact us today for an initial consultation.