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Expunge YOUR CONVICTION

RLS Criminal defense handles expungement in Alameda, San Joaquin, and Contra Costa County

If you were ever convicted of a criminal offense, you may be eligible to petition the court to expunge your conviction. Attorney Ryan L. Smith can help you determine if you are eligible for expungement, and if expunging your conviction is discretionary or mandatory upon the court..

Schedule a FREE consultation to learn more about Expungement in California.

What Does it mean to “expunge” a conviction?

If your conviction is expunged, you no longer have that conviction, and may legally answer “No” to most questions asking if you've ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony (job applications, rental applications, etc…) unless you still have another misdemeanor or felony conviction that has not been expunged.

However, on your conviction history the charge will still appear, but the word “convicted” will be replaced with the words “dismissed" or "dismissed pursuant to PC 1203.4" 

Expunging a conviction does not relieve one of the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to a question in an application for public office, employment as a police officer, licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery Commission. 

Also, things which you are prohibited from doing because of the conviction or ineglible from having because of your conviction is no longer such if your conviction is expunged EXCEPT … 

… expungement does not affect restrictions regarding possession of firearms, and expungement does not affect obligations and prohibitions regarding sex offender registration. A conviction that is expunged can still be used as a prior, or as a strike in a new criminal case; 

If you have a question about Expunging a Conviction, or would like us to pursue Expunging your Conviction, call or email our office.

Who Qualifies for Expungement?

Convicted individuals are eligible to petition for expungement if they meet the following requirements: 

  • have successfully completed their probation for the offense they wish to expunge; 
  • are not currently charged with a crime, on probation for a crime, or serving a sentence for a crime; and
  • either did not serve in state prison for the crime or served in state prison but would have otherwise been able to serve in county jail if the crime had been committed after Proposition 47’s “realignment” implementation.

Certain felony offenses can never be expunged under any circumstances, such as serious sex offenses committed against children like:

  • sodomy with a child;
  • lewd acts with a child;
  • oral copulation with a child;
  • statutory rape.

Obtaining an Expungement

If you are eligible for expungement, you can start the petition process by hiring an expungement attorney. From there, your lawyer can help you file a petition with the court, and the court can either grant the expungement request by permitting you to withdraw your guilty or no contest plea and instead enter a not-guilty plea or by setting aside the guilty verdict if you have been convicted after a not-guilty plea. The court will then dismiss your accusations, and you will be released from the rest of the penalties and disabilities associated with your conviction. If your expungement petition has been denied, you may file a new petition after 6 months of the denial. 

Note that some expungement petitions may involve a hearing, while others may not. If the case does require a hearing, the judge will make the final decision without a jury.

Expungement can be a confusing process to navigate without a lawyer. To get the fresh start you deserve as a defendant, it may be in your best interests to request an expungement of your conviction. RLS Criminal Defense can take a look at your eligibility for expungement and help you petition for the expungement of your conviction. While expunging your record may not necessarily wipe away your whole criminal history, it can still make a difference in lightening the long-term consequences and social stigma of being convicted. If your expungement is granted, information about your conviction will no longer be available to the public, and you can also carry on as if you were never convicted, making it easier to reintegrate into society and start fresh.

Contact RLS Criminal Defense for a FREE consultation regarding Expungement.

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