The attorneys at the Dolan Law Offices are experienced in helping California residents clear their criminal records. Our seasoned attorneys provide many valuable services to former defendants who have left their criminal pasts behind and moved forward as productive members of communities throughout the Coachella Valley. \
In lieu of, or in addition to, a jail sentence, defendants charged with criminal offenses in California may receive formal or informal probation. The latter is also known as summary probation. Formal probation is usually given for felony convictions.
Regardless of the type of probation, it is crucial that former criminal defendants do not violate the terms and conditions of their probation at any time.
A probation violation may result in many adverse consequences, not the least of which is the court’s increased negative perception of the defendant. This may reach far into the future if a defendant should wish to have a conviction expunged, i.e., dismissed by the same court.
Individuals convicted of a felony who served time in state prison or were convicted of certain misdemeanor sex crimes are not eligible to expunge a conviction. To obtain an expungement, a former criminal defendant must meet eligibility requirements that include the following:
- A charge and conviction of an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony in state court, not federal court (only state convictions are available for expungement);
- The petitioner must not have spent any time in state prison nor been placed under the authority of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (county jail and holding cells are not considered as state prison facilities);
- Satisfaction of the requirements of sentencing, including successful completion of probation.
- Payment of all court-ordered fines, fees, reimbursements, and restitution;
- Successful completion of community service, as well as any other mandatory classes and programs;
- Not currently being charged with another criminal offense;
- Not on probation for another criminal offense; and
- Not serving a sentence for another criminal offense.
If time was, in fact, served in state prison, the alternative to expungement is a California Certificate of Rehabilitation. John Patrick Dolan has helped California residents expunge their criminal records for 40 years. This includes vast experience helping Californians obtain Certificates of Rehabilitation when an expungement is unavailable.
If a former defendant has successfully completed probation, or if not given probation, then one year must pass since the date of conviction. However, anyone still actively on probation may petition the court for early termination of probation. A court will only terminate a defendant’s probation period prior to its expiration if it finds that early termination is in the interests of justice. It is a reasonable proposition that terminating the probation period of anyone disobeying the terms of their probation would not be in the interests of justice.
Expunging a conviction may be difficult for anyone who violates probation. It is generally true that anyone applying for an expungement must have successfully completed all conditions of probation. However, even for anyone guilty of committing a probation violation, expungement is not impossible. A California court may conduct a special hearing to determine whether the applicant is a good candidate for expungement.
Thus, anyone who has violated any of the terms of probation may still seek an expungement under California Penal Code § 1203.4. The court reviews the following factors in deciding whether to grant a petition for expungement:
- The overall performance and behavior of the applicant while on probation;
- The seriousness of the probation violation;
- The seriousness of the underlying conviction;
- The applicant’s overall criminal record and presence of repeat offenses; and
- Any positive evidence that demonstrates an applicant is deserving of expungement.
A California criminal defense attorney experienced in expunging cases can provide the necessary expertise to anyone who has violated probation and now seeks expungement. Petitioning for an expungement and undertaking the process with a probation violation is not necessarily an insurmountable task. However, seasoned criminal defense counsel may be crucial to achieving the best possible result.
The Dolan Law Offices can help anyone with a criminal past. For over forty years, we have provided Californians with post-conviction services that clear their criminal record to further solidify their future as productive, law-abiding members of the Coachella Valley community. Call us today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.