At any time after completion of probation, early termination of probation or in any other case in which a court, in its discretion and the interests of justice, determines that a person should be granted the relief available under this section (Penal Code section 1203.4(a), a person shall be permitted to withdraw his or her original pleas and enter a plea of not guilty, unless that person is currently on probation, serving a sentence or charged with the commission of any offense. You may have to reimburse the court for a fee up to $120 for the filing of an expungement request if you were previously granted probation. If your application for expungement is successful, the court shall set aside and dismiss the accusations.
Who Qualifies for Record Expungement?
You should qualify for an expungement if:
- You were convicted at trial or convicted by plea of no contest or guilty to a criminal offense and placed on probation.
- The probation term was completed or terminated.
- You paid all of your fines, fees and restitution.
- You are not currently on probation, serving a sentence or facing new charges.
- If you were convicted of a misdemeanor and not granted probation, and if you also satisfied 1 and 3 above, you may apply for expungement no sooner than one year from the date of conviction.
Criminal Record Expungement Information by State
Limitations of Record Expungement
Important information to know about the limitations of expungement value:
- An expungement does not erase or destroy your record. Any expunged convictions are still accessible to the public.
- If the offense you were convicted of imposed a prohibition from owning firearms, an expungement will not relieve you of that prohibition.
A. In most cases, if you were prohibited from owning a firearm merely because of the class of crime you were convicted of, ie, a felony, and if that felony could have been charged as a misdemeanor, before obtaining an expungement, you could petition the court to first reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and then have that misdemeanor expunged. You could then legally own a firearm.
- An expunged conviction may still be used against you as a prior conviction or to increase your penalty in certain subsequent prosecutions.
- The granting of an expungement does not eliminate the obligation to disclose the original conviction in response to a direct question contained in any application or questionnaire for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency or for contracting with the California State Lottery.
- You must disclose the expunged conviction on any job application with any public or government employer.
- If you apply for employment within the private sector and are asked if you have been convicted of a crime, you do not have to admit to expunged convictions. However, it may be prudent to do so because it may be accessible. Make sure you also tell them it was expunged if you decide to disclose.
- If you were convicted of a drug related offense that required you to register, having the expungement granted ends that registration requirement.
- If you were convicted of arson or certain sex offenses that require registration, an expungement does not terminate your duty to register.
- If you were convicted of certain sex offenses, you are not eligible for expungement, regardless of completion of probation. However, for some sex offenses, you may be able to apply to the Governor for a pardon if there are extraordinary circumstances.
Please keep in mind, this information pertains to California criminal law. For more information about getting a record expunged, contact a local criminal defense attorney.