California Expungements: Penal Code § 1203.4
Penal Code 1203.4 outlines California laws which govern expungements of criminal records. An expungement, sometimes referred to as a “dismissal“, discharges a person from the criminal conviction.
Specifically, an expungement is a type of post-conviction relief which removes a person from the consequences of a conviction. It’s imperative to understand this penal code and the benefits that it may offer to those who have been accused and convicted of a crime, especially since it may potentially clear your criminal record.
The word “expungement” is somewhat confusing as it infers that criminals records can be erased. Expungements are post-conviction, post-probation petitions for dismissals; the court substitutes a “Not Guilty” plea for the earlier finding of guilt, and dismisses the case. After this time, the guilty plead is no longer on the criminal record because technically you are no longer guilty of the charge. However, in most government application you may still need to disclose the prior conviction even after it has been expunged.
What Does a California Expungement Do?
Under Penal Code § 1203.4, an expungement essentially discharges a person from whatever sentencing they were given due to being convicted of a crime. One powerful advantage that expungement offers is that an expunged conviction does not typically have to be disclosed to potential private employers or institutions.
As it stands, California law prevents employers from inquiring about an applicant’s previous criminal record until such a time when the employer proposes a legitimate offer of employment. However, once a conviction gets expunged, it doesn’t need to be revealed to an employer even after the employer makes a job offer.
However, you may still be required to disclose the expunged conviction if filing any applications with government organizations such as for professional licensing with the Contractors State Licensing Board; State Bar of California; Medical Board of California; California Board of Pharmacy; California Department of Real Estate; California Board of Accountancy; or any such other licensing board that requires a Live Scan for California Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) level criminal history record checks.
Who is Qualified to Have Conviction Dropped Under California Expungement Law?
Someone who was sentenced for a crime in California is eligible for expungement provided that:
- They have successfully completed probation for the offense, and that they either
- Did not serve time in state jail for the offense, or
- Served time in state jail, however they would have served it in county jail had the crime been committed after usage of “Realignment” under Proposition 47.1
Who isn’t Qualified For an Expungement in California?
Individuals are not qualified for expungement in the event that they:
- are presently accused of a criminal offense,
- are on post trial supervision for a criminal offense, and/or
- are serving a sentence for a criminal offense.
Glendale, Los Angeles Expungement Lawyers Can Help
Expungement is a huge step forward for many individuals who have been accused of a crime. This crucial step allows for a much easier re-entry into society and we can help you to get there!
If you or a loved one may benefit from an expungement, give us a call at (310) 943-1171 for a free criminal defense consultation with one of our Glendale criminal defense attorney today. Our lawyers in Glendale, Los Angeles, California, are dedicating to providing the highest quality legal services for all of our clients.