Every single person in the state of California who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime should consider the merits of record expungement or record sealing. Let our experienced record expungement attorneys expunge or seal your adult criminal record and you will find life is that much easier to live in a number of ways. The vast majority of Californians with an adult criminal record are eligible for either of these options. Let's take a look at the differences between record expungement and record sealing along with the merits of each approach to clearing your name.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXPUNGING AND SEALING AND ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD
Expunging an adult criminal record is different from sealing an adult criminal record. These terms are commonly interchanged by laymen yet there is an important distinction to make between them. Expunging a criminal record means the individual in question is provided with a fresh, clean slate. The prior convictions are erased. The expungement of an adult criminal record makes it as though the events in question never happened. Though you will certainly remember the alleged transgression, few people, if anyone, will be able to find out about it.
Expungement can only occur after the sentence handed down by the judge is served in full. It is particularly interesting to note federal law permits expungement to first-time offenders strictly for the possession of narcotics. Thankfully, California’s law is much more flexible.
Sealing an adult criminal record segregates specific records from the court’s records to guarantee confidentiality is provided to the extent noted in California’s record sealing statute. Record sealing is performed for cases that were either dismissed or acquitted. This is quite the strong contrast to record expungement in which records are removed and destroyed, leaving no information behind. Record sealing also makes sense in situations in which the prosecution fails to file charges yet the record still shows the arrest. Once your adult criminal record is sealed, the record of the arrest is destroyed. Let our attorneys seal your adult criminal record and you will be able to state you have not been arrested without worrying about making such a statement breaks the law.
Every Californian with an adult criminal record should be interested in wiping the slate clean and starting anew with through a record expungement. The state of California makes record expungement available to those with felony and misdemeanor convictions. Expungement eligibility factors include the following:
Whether you were convicted of the alleged crime
- The severity of the alleged crime
- The length of time it has been since the arrest or conviction
- Whether you have additional criminal convictions
- If you have completed the terms of your sentence, diversion program and probation
There are a few exceptions yet the vast majority of those with a felony or misdemeanor conviction on their record will find expungement clears their name. Once your sentence and probation are complete and you have attended all of the necessary court appearances, you will be eligible for a record expungement.
Those who have committed subsequent crimes during their probation period might find it somewhat challenging to have their adult criminal record fully expunged. Furthermore, some convictions cannot be expunged. Crimes that are especially violent in nature or constitute a sex offense are of the utmost severity. State law typically does not allow for the expungement of such crimes. As an example, statutory rape and some crimes against children will likely preclude an expungement of your adult criminal record. However, if your conviction is the result of identity theft or mistaken identity in which you were not the one guilty of the crime, it is possible to expunge your record.
In some jurisdictions of California, those arrested for or convicted of a drug crime might find it easier to have their record expunged than those convicted of more serious crimes. Furthermore, juvenile offenders typically find the expungement of their record to be fairly straightforward and easy. The path to expungement is easier for such juvenile offenders as courts typically consider mistakes made during one’s youth to be less meaningful than transgressions made in the adult years.
As an example, once an individual convicted of a juvenile offense reaches the age of 18 and has stayed out of legal trouble, he or she will find it is fairly easy to have their record expunged. Plenty of those arrested for drug offenses prove eligible for diversion programs. Such programs typically allow for the expungement of records after the diversion program is completed in full.
ELIGIBILITY FOR SEALING AN ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD
There are a couple situations in which an individual is eligible for a sealing and destroying of his or her arrest record. As an example, those arrested as a juvenile and currently of adult age might be eligible for record sealing if the arrest occurred in excess of five years prior. However, the candidate must not have current convictions or ongoing litigation stemming from the juvenile arrest.
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS WHEN DECIDING TO EXPUNGE OR SEAL YOUR ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD
Before deciding if you would like to have your adult criminal record expunged or sealed, you should consider a number of factors. If there is a felony conviction, expunging your adult criminal record will not automatically permit you to legally possess a firearm. Expunged convictions can show up in certain circumstances yet they are inaccessible 99% of the time. The exception to the general rule is that police departments and certain licensing boards can find out if the individual applying for the open position has had his or her record expunged.
If you are preparing to run for public office or if you are considering pursuing a career to become a police officer in the state of California, your expunged and/or sealed criminal record might still be visible. These records might be considered an important facet of your application to serve as a public official or police officer.
ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN EXPUNGING AND SEALING AN ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD?
Expunging and sealing an adult criminal record are clearly distinct from one another yet they do have some similarities, especially in terms of benefits. As soon as the arrest or conviction is sealed or expunged, it does not have to be disclosed to other parties. This is an important benefit of expunging and sealing a record as prospective employers, landlords and even insurance companies consider criminal records when determining whether a candidate should be hired, accepted as a tenant or provided a competitive insurance rate. When asked by such parties if you have been convicted of a crime, you can answer completely honestly in the negative, without any legal repercussions as long as your adult criminal record has been expunged or sealed.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE MERITS OF EXPUNGEMENT
If you are looking for a fresh start on life following a criminal conviction, meet with our record expungement attorney to learn about the benefits of expungement. Expungement wipes the slate clean, empowering you to live in the United States worrying about how one alleged mistake in your past will affect your life across posterity. Once your adult criminal record is expunged, your criminal record is removed from the court record. This means your arrest record and police report are fully removed from view of potential landlords, employers and the general public.
Even records on file with correctional facilities or law enforcement agencies regarding your arrest, apprehension, disposition of a crime and trial can be expunged. Furthermore, the expungement of an adult criminal record means governmental agencies cannot access information about prior convictions unless they obtain a court order. There are minimal state regulations pertaining to expungements. However, the state does limit the number of times in which expungements can be granted. In most cases, it is difficult, if not impossible, to expunge an individual’s adult criminal record more than once.
CONSIDER THE ADVANTAGES OF SEALING YOUR ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD
Our legal team is fond of stating expunged adult criminal records are sealed yet not every single sealed record is expunged. Once the criminal record is sealed, it is fully removed from the public’s access. However, in the context of the law, the alleged transgression in question still occurred. It is possible for some government agencies to access the record in question. Sealing your adult criminal record should be thought of as similar to expungement without full erasure. Rather, sealing your adult criminal record maintains its confidentiality to a point.
The legal procedure to seal an adult criminal record is not egregiously complicated. However, this is not the type of project an individual can complete with any sort of ease in a pro se manner. Pro se is a legal term for an individual who attempts to represent him or herself. You need a savvy record expungement attorney on your side to guarantee your adult criminal record is sealed in the proper manner. Once your record is sealed, it is authorized to be completed in a manner fully consistent with the relevant California statute.
CONSIDER WHETHER AN EXPUNGEMENT OR SEALING OF YOUR ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD IS OPTIMAL FOR YOUR UNIQUE SITUATION
Expungement is typically considered more of an absolute solution to a marred adult criminal record. Expungement leaves no trace behind of any information pertaining to a criminal conviction or arrest. Furthermore, there is no sign any information has been removed from your record. Alternatively, sealing your adult criminal record will not automatically destroy it as occurs with expungement. Rather, your adult criminal record will be sealed so the public cannot access it but for certain government officials with the appropriate paperwork. Once your adult criminal record is fully expunged, the only way anyone from the general public can access the expunged record is with a court order.
EXPUNGE OR SEAL YOUR ADULT CRIMINAL RECORD AND LIFE WILL PROVE THAT MUCH EASIER
Expungement and record sealing are fantastic ways of turning your life around and returning to a sense of normalcy. Once your record is expunged or sealed, you will no longer worry about whether an alleged past transgression sabotages your chances of employment or obtaining an apartment lease. Furthermore, if you are looking to become a professional in a line of work that requires an occupational license or California state certification, you will likely be barred from licensure and certification if you have a black mark on your permanent record.
Let our record expungement attorneys clear your name and you will be liberated to pursue your dream without feeling paranoid about a past mistake coming back to haunt you over and over again. You will be able to fill out job applications in full confidence, knowing your statement that you have never been arrested or convicted of a crime will prove true when the party in question digs into your past. Expunging or sealing an adult criminal record will also enhance your credibility if you have to testify in court as a witness. In fact, many of those subjected to the possibility of deportation from the United States find sealing or expunging their record makes it easier to remain in the land of the free.
EVEN MINOR CRIMINAL OFFENSES SHOULD BE EXPUNGED OR SEALED
It makes sense to expunge or seal your adult criminal record even if you have one minor criminal offense. Anything from disorderly conduct that occurred in your teens or 20s to petty theft as a youngster or misdemeanor trespassing while enjoying a wayward adventure during your youth can ruin your life. Your chances of obtaining employment, an apartment, professional licensure/certification in the state of California are slim-to-none if such a conviction is on your record. Opt for a record expungement and you can legally respond “No” when applying for a job and filling out an application or answering a question such as: “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?"
OUR RECORD EXPUNGEMENT ATTORNEY NEAR YOU CAN EXPUNGE OR SEAL YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD
If you have an adult criminal record, you should not have to spend the rest of your life paying the consequences. Record Expungement Attorney is here to help. Give us a call at 714-587-5907 to coordinate an initial consultation where we can further explain the merits of expunging or sealing your record.