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Under certain felony conditions, you can get your conviction expunged so that it is not accessible to the public during background checks for jobs, applying to rent an apartment or house, and applying for professional licenses.

Serious felony convictions of murder, rape, or sexual crimes against children rarely are expunged. If you want to get your records expunged, hire a criminal defense attorney who specializes in case expungements, to get the best help possible for a positive outcome.

California Penal Code § 1203.4

            Under California Penal Code § 1203.4, the conviction of a crime can be expunged when the defendant has completed the conditions of probation or has been legally discharged ahead of the probation’s term. The earlier plea of guilty can be withdrawn, and a “not guilty” plea entered instead.

A criminal defense attorney is your best source of latest information on current laws in California

            The next step is to file to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor, so long as the original conviction was eligible as a “Wobbler” under the category of crime, meaning it could have been charged and convicted as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

The best way to know in your preliminary research if your crime was a wobbler is to start with the category of crime, such as domestic violence (PC § 273.5), aggravated battery (PC §243(d)), and criminal threats (PC § 422). Your criminal defense attorney, however, is your best source of the latest information on current laws in California and can advise you on what to expect.

What You Should Know about Expungement

            While you may get your case expunged, there are a few things that you still cannot do, such as buy and own a firearm unless you apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon, covered by California Penal Code § 4852.01(b)(d).

            If you must register as a sex offender, you still have to continue to register even if your case is expunged, unless you apply for the Certification of Rehabilitation after the expungement is completed.

            When applying for any government job, you still must admit that you were convicted when asked, but you can say that the case was expunged as related to California’s Penal Code 1203.4.

Jobs such as police officers, and other jobs of “trust” are closed to you, although you can consult with your attorney first about any new changes in the California laws. The same is true when you are applying for professional licenses where you must again admit your conviction and subsequent expungement.

Should you ever commit a crime, however, your expunged case and conviction could come back out and be used against you under certain conditions.

Keeping a Good Profile

            While it may seem that you are restricted in some ways for how you can live your life, understand that you have more freedom available now to live a better life than if you had not had your case expunged. Therefore, view this as a second chance to live life and to do something good with it and yourself.

If you need help with getting your conviction and case expunged, call us at once. (619) 234-2300

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys. In 2017, he was also selected for the Super Lawyers Top 50 in San Diego list. In 2014, he was selected as a Top Attorney by Los Angeles Magazine. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong was also named as a Top Attorney by the San Diego Business Journal in 2014.

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