While a completely clean record may not be achievable in California, a considerable cleanup of one’s record might be. Reviewing expungement eligibility and conditions can help you decide if an expungement is worth seeking in your case.
State definition of expungement
Before getting too deep into research about expungement options or getting your hopes up too high, it’s essential to understand how the process works in California. You and anyone else with a criminal history in the state can’t exactly achieve a clean slate. According to state statutes, a dismissal of charges is a better way to look at it. This is because serious convictions, like sexual offenses and immigration violations, will often remain on file. The positive side is that one year after a conviction and completion of any required probation, the remaining penalties could be dismissed.
Limits of expungement
Californians with infractions, misdemeanor and felony offenses can all seek expungement. But there are ways it may still show up or conflict with one’s personal life and career goals.
Specifically, here are some limitations that exist in the state of California:
- State and FBI records will still show conviction with its expungement
- Government and security-related jobs will require disclosure of conviction
- Applications for government-issued licenses must include the conviction
- Removal of government-issued licenses is still possible
- Reinstatement of firearm possession wouldn’t be likely if this were a penalty for the crime
- Some sex offenders must remain registered
- Not all immigrants will be able to stay in the country
- The court will consider future charges in the same realm as subsequent charges and not first-time ones
While erasing one’s record completely can be challenging. Clearing light and serious charges can be possible and create more opportunities and freedom in your everyday life. It’s vital to consult with an experienced attorney before filling out a petition for relief form.