In most instances, an individual who has satisfactorily completed their requirements of probation can petition the court to withdraw their plea and have their conviction expunged. If a person wants to rid themselves of a prior conviction, it is always advisable to seek the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer experienced with petitioning the court to expunge prior convictions.

There are many questions people have when it comes to expunging criminal records. Below are the some of the most common questions asked when it comes to expungement:


What does expunging a conviction mean?

In expunging a conviction, the court will allow the defendant to withdraw their previously entered guilty plea, enter a not guilty plea on their behalf and dismiss the case.


Why should people expunge their record?

There are several reasons people should try and expunge their record. However, common reasons include:

Employment Applications/Promotions. The majority of people want to have a good job or they desire to move upwards in their company. However, a criminal record can keep this from happening, which is why they try to expunge their record. Once a conviction has been expunged, the individual may legally represent that they have not been convicted for that charge.
State Licensing Job. If a person wants to obtain a state license, they need to expunge their record before getting it. For instance, a person wants to become a licensed real estate agent but has a prior conviction, they will need to expunge their conviction in order to move forward with the application process.
Pride. Many people who get an expungement do so because they feel like it is a weight taken off their shoulders.
Immigration issues. While an expungement is no guarantee that the INS will not learn of the conviction, it does show the agency that the person has handled the probation successfully and that the court has set aside their conviction.


How does the process to expunge a criminal record work?

Once the attorney hired gets basic information on their client, they will do some research into the case, draft a petition and proposed order to file with the court. A hearing date may be set, at which time the prosecutor and/or probation can voice any opposition to the petition. If successful, the court will grant the petition and execute a copy of the proposed order for the defendant’s records. For the majority of cases, the attorney will make all court appearances on their client’s behalf.


How long does an expungement take?

It can take anywhere from four to six weeks to get the expungement done. However, lawyers at our firm can begin working on your case right away to shorten the time frame.


Can a felony be reduced to a misdemeanor?

If the felony charge is a wobbler (i.e., a charge which could be brought as either a misdemeanor or a felony), pursuant to Penal Code 17(b) motion the felony can get reduced prior to expungement so the defendant will no long have a felony conviction.


Can a person get an expungement if they are on probation?

The answer to that question is yes but it will be predicated upon first petitioning the court under Penal Code 1203.3 to terminate the defendant’s probationary period early. In that petition, the court must be advised as to why good cause exists to terminate probation early (i.e., military service, state licensing or exemplary performance on probation).


Can an attorney stop formal felony probation?

Depending on if the charge is a wobbler and the performance of the defendant while on felony probation, it may be possible to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to a Penal Code 17(b) motion.

If you or a loved one wants to remove a criminal conviction from their record, contact our office today for more information regarding expungement.

Our Results Speak for Themselves

Client charged with possession for sales and gang enhancement. Client faced 16 years in prison with the gang and prior strike allegation. Client turned down 8 year pretrial offer with prior attorney before going to trial. Not guilty on all charges at trial. (People v. Antwan B.)

Client charged with attempt murder, accessory after the fact and gang enhancement after shots fired at a dwelling. Client turned down 15 year pretrial offer. During trial, plea deal reached for probation with time served. (People v. Rudy B.)

Client charged with resisting arrest, obstruction of justice when cops performed a probation sweep at her residence.  Client found not guilty on all counts at jury trial. (People v. Felicia M.)

Client charged with corporal injury to girlfriend after argument allegedly escalated. Client had significant exposure of 21 years because of prior strike, probation violation and GBI allegation. At trial, jury refused to convict client, returning hung verdict. (People v. Christopher P.)

Client charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale after traffic stop. Client claimed prejudice by prosecution’s delay in bringing the case to court. Motion filed on behalf of client asking the Court to dismiss the case as violative of client’s speedy trial rights. Motion granted and case dismissed. (People v. Shannon J.)