Don't Let Your Past Limit Your Future

California Expungement

California Expungements – The Details You Can’t Miss

January 28, 2015

Expungement in California

It becomes very stressful and tedious for one to secure a job or rent an apartment with a criminal record. It does not matter if you were convicted or merely arrested. The good news is that you do not have to carry this burden for the rest of your life, as expunging convictions in California can give you a clean record and a fresh start.

In California, expungement is the legal process that allows past offenders to clean up their criminal records. After filing a petition for expungement, the court reopens the case and withdraws the guilty verdict or plea. The charges are dismissed and the case is closed. The criminal case still remains public record; however, the record will reflect that the case was expunged and charges dismissed.  Most importantly, after an expungement you may legally state that you have not been convicted of the expunged crime.

Who is eligible for a California expungement?

In California, convictions may generally be expunged if: (1) there was no state prison sentence, (2) the person is not on probation and does not have pending charges, and (3) it is not a prohibited offense such as a sex crime prohibited by statute. Additionally,  all fines and court costs, restitution, and any other court mandated requirements must be satisfied to qualify for expungement.

What offenses are ineligible for a California expungement?

Expungement is not available for all offenses—by statute, California disqualifies a limited number of serious crimes from expungement. Those sentenced to state prison do not qualify for expungement. In addition, some serious offenses may never be expunged, including:

-any misdemeanor within the provision of Vehicle Code section 42001(b)

-any violation of the sex offenses listed in Penal Code section 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, or                          289(j)

-a felony statutory rape charge under Penal code Section 261.5(d).

What is a Wobbler?

A “wobbler” is a criminal offense that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor.  If your case qualifies for expungement, you can also request that the felony wobbler offense be reduced to a misdemeanor.   This is commonly known as a “felony reduction,” and it is important for many reasons. The reduction of a felony conviction typically restores firearm rights that were lost due to a felony conviction.  Many crimes in California are qualifying wobblers.

Examples of offenses qualifying as “wobblers” include:

California burglary law;

Assault carried out with a deadly weapon under penal code 245(a);

A number of sexual offenses; and

Certain fraud charges.

How long does it take to expunge a record?

The time it takes to obtain an expungement varies depending on the case and county it in which it occurred; however, California expungements typically take between two and three months to obtain.

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Disclaimer: The material on this blog has been prepared and is copyrighted by WipeRecord, a division of Eastman, Libersat & Meyler, PC ("WipeRecord"). The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Information provided by or cited to third parties does not necessarily reflect the opinions of WipeRecord or any of its attorneys or clients. Results of any expungement or restoration of civil and/or firearm rights may vary from case to case. We obtained your email address when you took the eligibility test on our website. Please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement. Please refer to our website for prices. This is a legal advertisement. If you have already hired or retained a lawyer in connection with your gun rights restoration, please disregard this letter. Our lawyers do not have professional liability insurance.