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Post Convictions

Post Convictions

Post Conviction Remedies

$750 – Misdemeanor Expungement

$1,500 – Felony Expungement

$1,500 – Motion For Early Termination of Probation

$2,500 – Motion to Reduce a Felony to a Misdemeanor

$7,500 – Certificate of Rehabilitation

What is an Expungement?

California Law provides for clearing a conviction by having the case dismissed, and the conviction set aside. The California criminal record expungement law, Penal Code § 1203.4, is complex in certain areas, and expungement of a criminal record is something that should be done by anyone with even a minor criminal history. Contrary to popular belief, criminal convictions are not cleared automatically with the passage of time.


How do I find out if I am eligible for an Expungement?

Call us! Unless you were sent to State Prison, or were convicted of a serious sexual offense you are probably eligible for an expungement. Even if you had a probation violation, it is often still possible to expunge your case, see People vMcLernon, 174 Cal. App. 4th 569 (2009). Felony, misdemeanor and non-traffic infractions can be expunged.


How Does Expungement Work?

We file on behalf of our client a petition for expungement under California Penal Code section 1203.4. The prosecuting attorney must also be served, and filing fees (set by each County) paid either at the time of filing or after the granting of the motion. We pay these fees. Some cases require additional materials, such as is the case in a DUI expungement, where the court must make a finding that the expungement is in the interest of justice.

The prosecuting attorney has the right to object to an expungement, although from a legal perspective, legitimate objections are limited in scope. Unfortunately, some prosecutors do not fully understand the expungement law and will from time to time make objections that have no legal merit. We reply to such objections so that the court is aware of the most recent law regarding expungement. Depending upon the court there may or may not be a formal hearing scheduled. If there is a hearing scheduled we attend for our clients.

When the expungement is granted, our client is allowed to take back their plea of guilty or no contest and enter a brand-new plea of not guilty. The case is ordered dismissed, and the conviction ordered set aside by the court. This removes the criminal conviction from the petitioner’s record. The California Department of Justice and FBI databases are notified by the court clerk of the expungement and update their records to show that the conviction has been ordered set aside by the trial court. Our clients receive a copy of the order showing that this has occurred.


How Long Does an Expungement Take?

Generally speaking, expungements take in the neighborhood of 60 to 120 days, but certain courts, or older cases can take up to six months. Some Courts can be quicker, so call us for more specific information about your case.


Why Expunge my Record?

Background checks for employment, professional licensing, college admission and financial aid, or even renting an apartment are now commonplace, and an expungement helps ensure success in these undertakings. Many of our clients seek expungement for these reasons, but a large number get their records expunged for peace of mind and for closure on a past mistake.


Do I Need an Attorney?

Probably so. Remember that you are hiring a lawyer for a proceeding that is very important to your future, and carefully examine the experience and background of any attorney you employ. We get calls each week from individuals who have attempted to expunge their cases on their own, and have been denied. Give us a call today.


Updated California Expungement Law

 SB 530 signed into law by Gov. Brown and effective January 1, 2014, amends Labor Code§ 432.7 to include cases that have been “judicially dismissed”. This means that individuals who have been granted or will be granted a California expungement under California Penal Code section 1203.4 cannot be discriminated against for employment, hiring, promotion, or termination based upon that expunged case in most circumstances.

Additionally, the law prohibits employers from seeking information regarding that expunged conviction. Certain exemptions to this law do exist, but they are primarily focused upon individuals seeking employment in law enforcement or other areas where law prohibits the employment of an individual convicted of certain offenses.

Prop 47, passed by voters Nov. 4, 2014, adds section 1170.18 to the Penal Code, which makes many previous non-violent felonies misdemeanors. These provisions are retroactive and can help even if you have completed probation years ago.




Motion for Early Termination Of Probation

If you are currently on probation in California but anxious to put the past behind you, we can motion the court under California Penal Code 1203.3 to have your probation terminated early, and in most cases, file a simultaneous petition under California Penal Code 1203.4 to expunge the underlying conviction, all at the same time. This process will allow you to eliminate the stiff restrictions that probation imposes on your life, and it will also allow you to seek out employment with the full confidence that an expungement of your past conviction provides. You will finally be able to answer “NO” truthfully when asked if you have been convicted of a crime, which is critical in a competitive job market wherein a vast majority of employers conduct criminal background checks today.

We specialize in terminating your probation early, pursuant Penal Code 1203.3. Why wait to get your life back? A probationary term, and a criminal conviction, can hold you back from promising employment and housing opportunities, and we are here to help you put your mistake behind you as quickly as possible.

Every Case is Unique

Every case is unique, and it is our goal to find the unique arguments in your situation that are capable of persuading the Court to grant relief in your case. We take great pride in getting to know the unique details of your life and how your criminal conviction is holding you back, and then utilizing this knowledge to draft the most persuasive, and compelling, arguments for the Court. We take the time to carefully draft a compelling motion, full of arguments that are unique to your situation, so to give us the best chance at success in our early termination of probation case. Call us today!


Motion To Reduce a Felony to Misdemeanor Under Penal Code Section 17(b) After Conviction

What is a motion to reduce a felony under Penal Code section 17(b)?

When a crime is punishable by either a felony or a misdemeanor, the court can reduce a felony to a misdemeanor under Penal Code section 17, subdivision (b), “when the court grants probation to a defendant without imposition of sentence and at the time of granting probation, or on application of the defendant or probation officer thereafter, the court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor.” In short, a defendant is eligible for a reduction whenever probation is granted instead of a prison sentence or a suspended prison sentence.


When should the motion be filed?

Although there are numerous times during a case when a defendant can request to reduce a felony, the motion is typically filed after probation has been successfully completed, or when probation is terminated early for good behavior.


What happens if the motion is granted?

Once the motion is granted, the offense will be deemed “a misdemeanor for all purposes,” including gun ownership. However, a felony conviction that was a strike will still be considered a strike for purposes of the three strike sentencing law, a felony sex offense that is reduced will not relieve a person of the duty to register as a sex offender, and under federal law, a person still might be considered a felon, which is the case for a felony domestic violence offense reduced to a misdemeanor.


Which felonies are eligible for reduction?

To be eligible, a person must have been convicted of a “wobbler offense” and must not have been sentenced to prison, or been sentenced to a suspended prison sentence. A “wobbler” is an offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Common “wobbler” offenses include Penal Code section 245, assault with a deadly weapon, Penal Code section 273.5, spousal abuse, and Penal Code section 484, theft. But there are many other “wobbler” offenses.


What factors does the court consider when ruling on the motion?

In deciding whether to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor, the court must give “individualized consideration of the offense, the offender, and the public interest.” (People v. Superior Court (Alvarez) (1997) 14 Cal.4th 968, 978.) This means that the court will consider the severity of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, the defendant’s efforts at rehabilitation, and the impact on society if the motion is granted. Therefore, to increase the chances of success a person should do well on probation, seek out whatever employment is possible, remain crime free, and volunteer in the community. When presenting the motion, the person should gather support letters from friends, employers, and community members to show rehabilitation.


What are the benefits of a successful reduction?

A felony record is a huge barrier to employment, housing, licenses, and social services. A felony record will also mean a greater punishment for any future crime because of either a sentencing enhancement, or less inclination on the part of the district attorney to negotiate. A misdemeanor record, while serious, does not interfere with as many opportunities. A felon is not entitled to possess a gun under state and federal law; however, if a motion is granted under this section, and there are no other felonies on the record, or no other reason to prohibit gun ownership, the former felon will gain back their gun rights and will be permitted to own a firearm.


Is an attorney needed to file the motion?

In many cases, yes. The court needs to be presented with compelling facts, supported by documentation, to justify reducing a felony to a misdemeanor. An attorney can effectively present this evidence in court to convince the judge of the minimal nature of the prior felony, the probationer’s good conduct, and the positive societal impact of granting the motion.



California Certificate Of Rehabilitation

Unfortunately, if you have been convicted crime, and served any amount of time in state prison, then the underlying conviction cannot be expunged in the state of California. However, we are able to petition the court under California Penal Code 4852.01 for a certificate of rehabilitation. This is a strong official endorsement from the court showing that your criminal history is behind you and that you are a valued and productive member of society.

Although a California certificate of rehabilitation will not expunge your underlying conviction, it does show potential employers, family and friends that you are changed person and have taken the steps necessary to put your criminal history behind you for good. A successful petition for a certificate of rehabilitation in California also creates an automatic application, and recommendation from the County Court, for an official Pardon from the Governor of California. We have helped many clients over the years successfully obtain a Governor’s Pardon.

We specialize in California record clearing laws and have handled many certificate of rehabilitation cases. Our expertise and knowledge will optimize your chance of successfully obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, allowing you to officially put the past behind so that you can move forward and embrace the future.


California Certificate Of Rehabilitation Summary

If you served any amount of time in state prison for a past conviction then a certificate of rehabilitation is a great way to demonstrate that you have officially put the past behind you and that the court officially deems you a valuable and productive member of society. Although it is true that once you serve time in state prison you can no longer expunge your underlying conviction, a PC 4852.01 petition does allow relief in the form of a certificate of rehabilitation, which will make you a much more marketable employment candidate in this tough job market. Also, obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation is a necessary step in obtaining a Governor’s Pardon. We will use our expertise to guide you through this complex legal process.

There are certain requirements that must be met to make you eligible for a California certificate of rehabilitation:

  • Your sentence required you to serve time in state prison and you served your time, and you are no longer on probation or parole.
  • You have not served any time in jail or state prison since your original release.
  • You must have lived in the state of California for the last five years.
  • At least seven years must have passed since your original release date.
  • You have been a productive member of society, living a clean and sober life, since your release.

Although a certificate of rehabilitation will not erase your conviction, it is a very positive addition to your permanent record, and it looks very good to potential employers. The average certificate of rehabilitation case takes 2-6 months depending on how backed up the courts are at the time we file the petition.


California Certificate Of Rehabilitation Benefits Summary

There are numerous benefits to getting a certificate of rehabilitation in California. Here is a list of a few of the benefits:

  • Sends a strong and positive official message to potential employers and society that you have taken the necessary steps to put the past behind you and that you are now a lawful, valued, and positive member of society.
  • Greatly increases your marketability in this tough job market.
  • Many state licensing agencies require a certificate of rehabilitation to apply for licensure, and they cannot discriminate against you based on your felony conviction(s) if you have obtained a certificate of rehabilitation.
  • Creates automatic application for a pardon from the California Governor.
  • Demonstrates to your family and friends that you are serious about your future and that you are determined to put the past behind you for good.

Contact us today!

760-775-3739 – [email protected]