Expungement (also known as sealing a criminal record) is a court process that allows to clear references to a prior criminal conviction and the court file sealed. In California, it is required to complete (file) some particular forms in order to get expunged. If you file these forms in the right way, the judge will decide whether to remove or not your criminal record. The expungement gives an opportunity to start a new life and get better life conditions for your future.
Thus, need to complete the following steps to Expunge your Criminal Record.
- Get a copy of the criminal record. There is some information which will be required to make clear whether it is possible or not to get the criminal record expunged. The copy of the criminal record can be obtained in Department of Justice or in the superior court of the county where the person was charged.
- Basing on the information obtained from the criminal record copies, it has to be decided whether it is possible or not to get an expungement. First of all, it should be confirmed that the crime the person was accused is not present in the list of crimes prohibiting the expungement. Also it should be noted that it is forbidden to expunge persons who have not paid their all fines and restitutions stated by the court as well as for persons who have been accused of a crime or are on probation for any other crime.
- Reduce the prior felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction. It is required that you file to dismiss. In practice, you should complete a 17b-Motion. That is a petition to the court to reduce an offense from a Felony to a Misdemeanor, pursuant to Penal Code Section 17 (b). Otherwise, the expungement will not be possible.
- Complete and file the forms necessary for the expungement. There is PC 1203.4 form which allows you to represent your documents to the court. (The example of this form can be found by the following link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr180.pdf )It is allowed to attach any file proving that the new conduct of the offender is not any more dangerous for the society ( i.e., reference letters, rehabilitation documents and so on)
- Attend a court hearing. Dress neat and clean. Do not bring your pocket knife or anything else that can be considered a weapon at home.
- Publishing the court decision. It will be mailed to you. In case of a negative decision, it is also possible to contact the court clerk to find out whether there are some circumstances determining the denial which can be corrected in short terms. If yes, you should resubmit all papers to the court again using the same process.
The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. We are a client-centered professional expungement law firm, not a mass-market expungement mill. When our law firm accepts your California criminal case, you can put your mind at ease. We handle every aspect of your case, from the very start through the very last court hearing, all for a flat fee agreed upon before we begin.
You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000