An arrest presents a serious situation to anyone, even if only a misdemeanor charge. An arrest can quickly turn into a conviction if a defense is not properly provided to the court. A conviction, even a misdemeanor, can have lasting repercussions on your record and may impact your ability to keep a job, maintain custody of your children, or even vote. However, many states, including California, offer the alternative of expungement to secure your record. Our San Jose expungements lawyer may be able to help get a past conviction off your record.
Expungement in California
Criminal records searches are an important part of every new job application, graduate school application, adoption application, or even new home mortgage background checks. A minor criminal conviction can drastically impact your future at all levels. Juveniles are especially subject to a lifetime of hardship if they are convicted of a crime at a young age which can appear on their adult criminal record.
California offers the option of expungement for certain crimes, which will lead to the release of a defendant from all penalties and disabilities arising from a criminal conviction. This allows a person convicted of a minor offense to go through life without the specter of a criminal record forever haunting every step they may take. It is incredibly difficult to land a new job with a criminal record, and even harder to push yourself to get ahead after such a defeat. Expungement offers people a second chance at society without a criminal record trailing behind them.
While expungement will protect your criminal record from being discovered in background searches, it will not overturn a driver's license suspension or revocation and will not end a duty to register as a sex offender in California. Additionally, although the conviction may be “expunged” from your record, the conviction itself will still fall within California's “three strikes” law. Therefore, if receive two further convictions in the future, you may face a heightened prison sentence of 25 years to life in prison, depending on the nature of the convictions.
A person who was convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in California is eligible for expungement if the following applies:
- They successfully completed probation; AND
- They are not currently charged with a criminal offense, or are currently on probation, or serving a sentence for a criminal offense.
Therefore, expungement largely depends on your current criminal record. If you served probation for one offense but are still serving probation on a second offense, you will not be eligible for expungement. Additionally, you will not be eligible for expungement if you did not fully complete probation or were sent to prison as the result of your conviction. Certain criminal offenses also do not provide eligibility for expungement, such as statutory rape convictions or lewd acts with a child.
Ahmed and Sukaram Law | San Jose Expungements Attorneys
If you would like to determine your eligibility to expunge criminal records in California, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of Ahmed and Sukaram. Our attorneys will assist you in determining whether you are eligible for expungement and will assist you in developing a claim for expungement after a conviction. Contact our San Jose office today for your initial free consultation.