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Expungement A New Beginning


An Expungement/Petition For Dismissal

May Get You Back On Track

  • If you have been convicted of a crime, anyone with authorization can view your criminal record

  • Post-conviction relief is critically important through an expungement/petition for dismissal which modifies your record. This requires a formal written petition and if granted by a judge, your record will state that you are entering a not guilty plea and the case is dismissed

  • In California, a criminal record is maintained permanently, does not disappear automatically solely because of the passage of time, and is a public record

  • Many employers run background checks on prospective employees

  • A criminal record may prevent you from obtaining certain professional licenses from California State agencies and likely makes it more difficult to obtain a mortgage, car loan, get accepted to college, obtain housing and can result in severe immigration consequences

However, even if the expungement/petition for dismissal is granted you still have to disclose your conviction in some circumstances that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. You apply for a state license

  2. You apply to become a peace officer

  3. You apply to work for the California Lottery Commission

  4. You run for public office

  5. You seek a license from certain California licensing agencies who require that you obtain an expungement/dismissal before they will issue a license



Expungement/Dismissal Overview 

We have extensive experience in attaining Penal Code Section 1203.4 dismissals for our clients depending on their individual case

Eligibility for dismissal often requires:​

  • Successful completion of all conditions of sentence and probation without any violations or have an order to terminate probation early under Penal Code 1203.3

  • Have not committed another felony after this conviction

  • Have no criminal charges pending or are not on probation or serving a sentence for a criminal offense 

  • Was not convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense that is not eligible. Not all offenses are eligible

  • Not sentenced to California State Prison as a result of either the conviction itself or violating terms of probation 

Limits of an Expungement/Petition for Dismissal


An Expungement/Dismissal Helps Begin A Second Chance

But Unfortunately Does Not Change Everything


For example:

  • It does not remove a conviction from a criminal record

  • It will not help reinstate a suspended driver’s license. Driving privileges are not reinstated. The suspension or revocation of a driver's license will not be overturned

  • It will not restore the right to own a gun if it was stripped as part of a felony proceeding Penal Code 29800

  • It does not remove the insurance “points” that a DUI puts on a license

  • DUI is still prioable as a past offense if you get another DUI within 10 years

  • Your record will show that you were arrested and convicted of an offense, but that you are now entering a plea of not guilty and the case against you is dismissed in the interest of justice. The only way to remove the arrest from your record is to petition the court to have your arrest record sealed and destroyed through a successful Factual Innocence Motion   

  • The expungement/petition for dismissal does not completely erase your record. However it is beneficial for your record to state that the case against you was dismissed especially for obtaining employment because California Labor Code 432.7 states an employer cannot discriminate against you for an arrest on your record that did not result in a conviction, ask you about an arrest that did not result in a conviction, or discriminate against you based on the fact that you have dismissed convictions

  • The conviction may still be used against you as a prior conviction for purposes of sentence enhancements, for subsequent convictions, and for “strikes” under California’s three strikes law

  • It will not relieve the duty to register as a sex offender under Penal Code 290

  • Some offenses are not eligible for expungement/dismissal including but not limited to: Penal Code 261.5(d), 286(c), 288, 288a, 288.5, 289(j), Vehicle Code 42002, 42002.1


​Reducing a Felony Conviction to a Misdemeanor

Penal Code 17(b)

California Penal Code 17(b), may reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor if the offense is a “wobbler”  offense that may be either punished as a felony or a misdemeanor. This depends on the facts and evidence of each particular case.

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