Record Expungement (PC §1203.4)
You have been convicted of a crime…
That fact does not make you a bad person and it should not have to follow you for the rest of your life! That’s why at The Law Office of David J. Givot, clearing your good name is serious business. If you have successfully completed probation, you may be able to have the crime expunged from your record.
What Does it Mean to Have Your Case Dismissed Under PC 1203.4?
An expungement in California state court generally refers to the process of withdrawing a guilty plea or verdict and then having the case dismissed. This criminal record clearing removes the crime from your record and permits you to deny having been convicted of a crime in most all circumstances.
Expungement cases can be complex so it is important to contact a lawyer who knows how to navigate the paperwork and procedure; from filing the initial motion to representing your cause at a hearing with the court where you were convicted of the crime.
What Is Record Expungement?
Record expungement is the process of "cleaning up" your criminal record by canceling out your conviction status. The record of the case itself will still exist, but any plea agreement or guilty verdict will be withdrawn. To obtain an expungement, you must request the court to reopen your case, list the charges against you as "dismissed in the interests of justice," and then close your case once and for all.
Which Records Can Be Expunged?
Expungement is not always an option but is limited to a special class of cases. Dismissal of charges via expungement can apply in the case of a misdemeanor or in the case of a felony, which might have been charged as a misdemeanor. The defendant must also have been sentenced to any one of or combination of the following punishments:
- Time behind bars in the county jail
- A fine
There are also certain classes of crimes that the penal code expressly forbids the possibility of expungement. These exceptions mostly occur in two areas of the penal code: motor vehicle incidents serious enough to result in two or more points on one's driving record, and sex-related offenses committed against a minor.
The four main sections of the penal code (PC) applicable to expungement cases are as follows:
- 1203.4, which has to do with the expungement of cases that resulted in the defendant being sentenced to a probationary period.
- 1203.4a, which addresses those cases that did not involve probation.
- 1203.41, which deals with cases wherein you were convicted on felony charges but served time only in a county jail as opposed to a state prison.
- 17, which enables you to reduce some felonies to misdemeanors and then get them dismissed. The felonies that fall under this category are known as "wobblers" because they can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors.
What If I Cannot Get My Conviction Expunged?
While many charges can be dismissed by expungement, as noted above, certain classes of felonies cannot. If you served time in a state prison as part of your felony sentence and your class of felony conviction is non-expungeable, you have another option. Instead of issuing a Petition and Order for Dismissal with the court, you can file the appropriate paperwork and pursue a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
Helping You Put Your Life back Together
Many people don’t even know that they have the option of having their records cleaned up. There are clearly some advantages to doing so. Perhaps most importantly, you get to answer “no” on job applications, and anywhere else the issue may arise, to questions about whether you have been convicted of a crime.
In addition, David J. Givot can help clients with early termination of probation. If you have served a substantial portion of your probation term and successfully completed all of the requirements of your probation, you may be eligible to apply for early termination. We can help!
FREE Initial Consultation
To discuss your particular case and to see if you are eligible for expungement or early termination of probation or both, contact me online or call my office locally at 310-699-0070 or toll free at 888-293-0396.
I offer free initial consultations, accept credit cards and am available for weekend/evening appointments. I serve Long Beach and all the surrounding Southern California communities.