expungement sounds like a favorable option to many people that have been arrested
or convicted of a criminal offense. An expungement, if successful, clears
an individual's criminal record so that it can no longer be accessed
by the public. An expungement is a great way to clear your record so that
your future employers, neighbors and others will not view you differently
because of a mark on your criminal record. Not everyone qualifies for
this record-sealing process though.
Pursuant to California Penal Code § 1203.4(2), a conviction may be
dismissed in some circumstances. If the misdemeanor or felony offense
resulted in a sentence not including time in state prison, the offender
can petition for an expungement. Individuals are allowed to attempt and
get this conviction off of their criminal record by filing in the court
of conviction. Remember, this type of expungement can only be obtained
if the sentence did not involve a prison term.
Those whose convictions resulted in a prison sentence may be able to petition
for something called a Certificate of Rehabilitation (CR). This is a court
document that qualifying individuals may be able to file with the California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. If you successfully obtain
a CR, this will implicate to the public that you are now in good standing
with the law. Many felony offenders petition for this type of expungement
but it is also available to those convicted of misdemeanors and had to
serve a prison term.
In California, those who wish to petition for an expungement must fill
out the Petition for Dismissal (CR-180) or the Order for Dismissal (CR-181).
If the information included on these documents is incorrect or is missing
information, then it is highly likely that the court will deny this petition.
This is one reason why it is so important to secure the help of a criminal
defense attorney if you are seeking an expungement.
According to California Penal Code § 4852.21(b), those that petition
for expungements must be advised of the "right, if any, to petition
for, and the procedure for filing a petition for, and obtaining, a certificate
of rehabilitation and pardon." Overall, if a defendant has successfully
fulfilled the conditions of their probation or has been discharged from
this probation by a court, then they can be granted the right to expungement
relief. Certain violations of the Penal Code do not allow for expungement.
To learn more about whether or not your specific infraction, conviction
or arrest qualifies you for a sealing of your criminal record by way of
expungement, please do not hesitate to
contact an Orange County criminal defense attorney from our firm.