Criminal record expungement

You may have thought you were through with the criminal justice system. You were arrested but never charged, or you were convicted and served your probation or sentence. However, you have recently found out that both your arrest and/or conviction are public records accessible to employers, landlords, or anyone else interested in your background. What can you do?

Sealing a record of an arrest

If you were arrested but charges were never filed, or if you were charged and the case dismissed, or if you were acquitted after trial, I will petition the police department and/or the court (if the police do not consent) for a declaration of factual innocence. Once you receive a declaration of factual innocence after a court hearing, then that arrest record is sealed and deemed no longer to have occurred. I handle these cases for a flat fee, plus expenses.

Expungement of a conviction

Expungement of a criminal record usually occurs after you have successfully completed all the terms of your sentence — usually after completion of probation. Sometimes you can petition for an early termination of probation as well. I will make a formal petition to the court requesting expungement of your conviction, and I must submit a criminal records check to demonstrate that you are not facing new criminal charges. Most, but not all, convictions can be expunged, and the process takes about a month. I handle expungement cases for a flat fee, plus expenses.

If your felony conviction is expunged, this does not automatically mean you can own, possess or control a firearm. Nor are you automatically relieved of all penalties, except as provided by law. Furthermore, you will be required to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, or for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery. You should also consider whether the conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor, which will relieve you of many penalties that a felony carries.

These two processes are very different, and have different consequences. The procedure for seeking each is very different, and the costs and efforts required vary.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer handling criminal record expungements

Since 1989, I have practiced criminal defense law in San Diego County, Temecula, Murrieta, and throughout Southern California. I have advanced knowledge of the rules and procedures involved in criminal record expungement and sealing arrest records. I provide these services for a reasonable flat fee, plus expenses.

I offer all new clients a free and confidential half-hour consultation, either in person or by telephone. During that consultation, I will advise you on what remedies are available to you, and I will explain the process in more detail.