A felony conviction has dire consequences for anyone. A conviction may affect you for your entire life since it stays on your record until expunged. While a criminal record is forever, you have some options to reduce its harsh, lifelong effects. California law allows you to expunge some types of felony convictions, which provides many benefits.
In California, a criminal record is an official document that delineates and outlines a person’s criminal activity within California. It contains information about any arrests, indictments, pending dispositions, and convictions. The information contained in this record is collected from law enforcement offices, courts, and public correctional facilities.
Under California’s Public Records Act, criminal records are not subject to disclosure. Information in your criminal history is confidential. Access to this personal information is strictly regulated by California law. Only law enforcement agencies have access to this information but only for law enforcement purposes. Certain regulatory agencies, as well as the person subject of the record also have legal access to a criminal record. Perhaps most importantly, many employers may have access to a criminal record.
You can expunge some convictions from your criminal record. This allows you to answer that you were not convicted of the expunged crime on most job applications. Other select convictions may be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
An expungement under § 1203.4 does not eliminate the fact that a defendant has been finally adjudged guilty of a crime. It only releases the convicted felon from certain penalties and disabilities. Nonetheless, the release of these penalties and disabilities provides many benefits.
If you are passive and fail to act, a felony conviction will stay on your criminal record permanently. Taking advantage of expungement to restore important rights and gain other benefits requires you to act aggressively. Seeking the knowledge and guidance of experienced criminal defense counsel can help you simplify and expedite this process.
An expungement allows you to seal the record of a conviction from public view. In California, you can expunge felony or misdemeanor convictions if you successfully completed the terms of probation for the offense, and either did not serve time in state prison for the conviction, or served time in state prison, but would have served time in county jail, instead, under Prop 47 Realignment.
John Patrick Dolan is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, the highest achievement awarded by the State Bar of California to attorneys in the field of criminal law. The advice, guidance, and representation of experienced criminal defense counsel may be crucial to achieving the best possible result in any criminal matter. John Patrick Dolan has forty years of criminal defense experience. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.