- Posted by Arturo Burga
- On May 20, 2018
A criminal conviction in your record can severely impact your ability to obtain a job or even qualify to rent an apartment in California. If you are in this situation, the law allows you to take advantage of a procedure called “expungement.” This procedure will enable you to get your misdemeanor conviction removed from your California criminal record.
Is an expungement easy to get? Do I need a lawyer to get an expungement?
In the last month, at Burga Law Firm PC, we had two new clients who were unsuccessful in obtaining an expungement on their own. If you follow the correct steps, you may be able to get your case expunged without an attorney. However, there are some situations where you need someone with the experience and knowledge of expungements.
One of the new clients had recently applied for an expungement. His convicted was a few years old. However, he had several probation violations. Meaning, a few times he failed to follow the terms of his release. The judge denied his petition for expungement. After meeting with him, we determined that he could file again. We need to tell the court about why we believe he qualifies for expungement. We prepared a petition that would touch the heart of the judge. The judge has the discretion to deny an expungement petition by looking a the following: 1) how he did in probation 2) the seriousness of his conviction 3) his criminal history, 4) opportunity for employment 5) if he supports a family and 6) strong community ties.
Our client, although he violated probation a few times, was able to complete all the terms of his probation. This is considered successful completion of probation. Also, he had not been convicted of any other crimes, and due to this criminal conviction, he is being denied employment for a job that could have a substantial financial benefit to his life and better provide for his family.
Another client came to us to help him fill out the form (Petition for Dismissal CR-180). The problem is that filling out the form is not the only thing he is required to do. Filing for an expungement requires several steps. To learn the steps on filing for an expungement click here. Had he just taken the form with him to court, he would have been rejected by the filing clerk for not completing all steps.
So, are expungements easy to get? Let an attorney figure that out for you before you try to do it on your own. Yes, many people have been able to get an expungement on their own, but also many people have been denied. We are here to assist you in getting your expungement granted.
How will an expungement benefit my family or me?
If you can expunge your criminal record in California, it has no negative benefits, only a positive benefit for you and your family. It will allow you to get the type of job that you were previously denied because of your criminal conviction. Once you have your record expunged, you are not required to disclose your conviction to your employer, unless your employer is a government entity.
Do all criminal convictions qualify for an expungement?
No, certain felonies and misdemeanors do not qualify for expungement. If you were convicted of certain sex crimes that involved minors, you could not get an expungement.
If you have a felony, you must first apply to reduce it to a misdemeanor before it can be expunged. That also requires that you were not sentenced to serve time in Prison. Also if you picked up a new criminal case, are still on probation or you are serving time in jail your petition for expungement will be denied.
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