An expungement releases an individual from the negative consequences of a conviction for most purposes, including those professional and academic. California Penal Code § 1203.4 provides the requirements for the “expungement” of criminal convictions. Expungements do not simply disappear upon application but may take up to four months depending on the circumstances of the conviction and the completeness of the petition.
Background checks for college admission, financial aid, employment, professional licensing, or even leasing an apartment are now more common than ever before. An expungement helps ensure that all the underlying applications related thereto are expedient and successful. While many individuals seek expungement for the above reasons, many also pursue expungement for closure and peace of mind.
Like most services in everyday life, we wait our turn in line. It is the same process for record clearing legal services. Courts handle cases in the order that they receive them. The sooner an individual provides all the necessary information to complete a petition for expungement, the sooner the petition may be filed, and the expungement granted.
The length of time that a petition for expungement takes from beginning to end varies depending on the following circumstances:
- The facts of the case;
- whether the State of California objects; and
- how long ago the case occurred.
Generally, expungements may take 60 to 120 days, but, depending on the circumstances, expungements in certain courts or for older cases may take up to six months. Cases that occurred before 1990 typically take longer. Also, the presence of any probation violations or reductions (i.e., certificates of rehabilitation) may delay an expungement.
Most individuals, even those with probation violations, are likely eligible for an expungement. Individuals who did time in a state correctional facility or were convicted of a serious sexual offense are probably not eligible for an expungement of any charges related to their crimes.
The court will issue an order stating that a conviction is expunged, and any appropriate databases will update an individual’s criminal history to reflect the expungement. As an expungement case is processed, petitioners may inform their employer or potential employer of the expungement. If the petition for expungement is denied, refiling the petition with more evidence may be the solution.
If the court denies an expungement petition, the Dolan Law Offices will inform record clearing clients of their best options going forward. We can identify which specific evidence will best attain success for clients.
Expungement, record sealing, and other post-conviction relief proceedings may be very complicated legal matters depending on the facts of the original case. If the State of California objects, a post-conviction relief matter may assume even more complexity. John Patrick Dolan has over forty years of experience helping well-intentioned Californians clear their criminal records and continue making present contributions to the Coachella Valley as valued members of the community. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.