Penal Codes

California's penal code is quite lengthy and complex. The record expungement process following an arrest and/or conviction proves challenging in its own right. If you are confused by the penal code's intricate language and the steps necessary to expunge your record, you are not alone. The Golden State's penal code is comprised of hundreds of thousands of words, many of which require years of legal training to fully understand. The code is intentionally written in a manner that only those with law degrees can completely comprehend. Furthermore, the assistance of a record expungement attorney is necessary to expunge your record and clear your name.

The unfortunate truth is the state of California stacks the odds against everyday people. If you are charged with a crime of any sort, you deserve a full understanding of the charge down to the very last detail. The bottom line is every single one of California's criminal laws is defined in the state's penal code yet it takes a seasoned attorney to fully understand and explain what these laws actually mean. Furthermore, an attorney’s assistance will also be necessary to make the case for a full record expungement that gives you a fresh start on life.


California's penal code is segmented into half a dozen sections referred to as Parts. Each Part has a Title. Titles are divided into Chapters. The state of California even goes as far as breaking down Chapters into Sections. Sections are the smallest portion of the penal code. Specific provisions in California's penal code are typically referenced according to section number. Police officers who refer to specific criminal acts over their radio almost always reference the penal code's section number.

Attorneys and government officials typically refer to California's penal code as living. The penal code is considered to be living as it has the potential to change. Those who pay close attention to the law are well aware of the fact that the Golden State's penal code has been altered quite substantially in the past. Though the penal code was first enacted nearly 150 years ago as one of the state's initial four statewide codes, it has been significantly altered and revised in the years since.

The dynamic nature of the penal code makes it that much more important to hire an attorney who understands the nuances of the law and record expungements. California’s penal code serves as the foundation for which criminal law is applied in the Golden State. There is no shame in lacking a thorough understanding of the penal code. Our record expungement attorney is here to explain the penal code, convictions and subsequent record expungement in layman’s terms


Most are surprised to learn the Golden State's drug laws are not detailed in the Penal Code. Rather, California's drug laws are explained in a distinct enactment known as California's Health and Safety Code. If you are accused of violating one of California's drug laws, meet with our attorneys so we can review the facts of your case and explain the letter of the law as defined in the state's Health and Safety Code.

If you are accused of violating a traffic, motor vehicle or other law, the state's penal code is the wrong place to look up the letter of the law. Provisions pertaining to motorists, traffic issues and motor vehicles are detailed in California's Vehicle Code. Traffic offenses cannot be expunged.  However, California drug convictions can be expunged.  Countless Californians are reaching out to record expungement attorneys to have their conviction for marijuana and other drugs expunged.  Part of the reason why expungement is so popular is the fact that the Golden State has legalized marijuana.

California’s Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana, empowering those with prior marijuana convictions to petition the court for an expungement of such low-level offenses.  Furthermore, high-level drug offenses have the potential to be downgraded to a lower level. If you have any marijuana or other drug-related conviction on your record, contact Record Expungement Attorney today to get the ball rolling on your record expungement. 


When California's penal code is mentioned, some immediately think of popular references to Section 420. It is widely thought this Section allegedly explains the letter of the law in relation to marijuana use. The truth is this section of the penal code actually explains how entry to public land is obstructed. Additional examples of California's penal code sections include 602 for trespassing, 528 through 539 for false impersonation, 674 for prostitution, 597 for animal cruelty, 594 for vandalism and malicious mischief and 664 for Attempt. Attempt is rarely charged alone. Rather, attempt is typically charged based on 664 as well as other Sections such as 211 or 187. Each of these criminal offenses has the potential to be expunged through a record expungement.  As long as you have not harmed a child or sexually assaulted or sexually abused someone, there is a good chance our record expungement attorney will be able to clear your name.

Sections 666 – 667 of California's penal code have become quite controversial. Section 666 pertains to petty theft with a prior, also known as felony petty theft. The purpose of establishing this section is to make it possible for an individual with at least two prior felony convictions such as violent or serious felonies to face felony charges when accused of minor shoplifting. If the individual in question is charged with two such prior convictions, he or she might face a sentence ranging from 25 years all the way to life in prison in accordance with California's three strikes law. Section 667 spells out all the details of this law.

Felony petty theft is included in the three strikes law. The three strikes law has catalyzed a considerable debate amongst Californians and even those who live outside of the Golden State. It is particularly interesting to note the United Sates Supreme Court upheld this three strikes law as fully constitutional. Though felony petty theft is a serious crime, it can be expunged.  If you have been convicted of petty theft of any variety or any other crime unrelated to sexual abuse or child abuse, there is a good chance your record can be expunged.  You need a savvy record expungement attorney on your side to clear your name and return your life to normal.  Our legal team is here to help every step of the way.


California has more than its fair share of record clearing laws. If you have any black marks on your record, there is no sense leaving them there when it is possible to clear them away with the assistance of an experienced attorney. As an example, California Penal Code 851.8 empowers those wrongfully arrested to petition the court in an attempt to show factual innocence. However, this form of recourse is only available if the arrest did not lead to a conviction. If factual innocence is demonstrated, the individual in question can have his or her arrest record fully sealed and subsequently destroyed.

California's Penal Code 1203.4 is a foundational expungement law permitting those previously convicted to petition the court to have their infractions, felonies and misdemeanors expunged. California Penal Code 4852.01 states those who served time in California state prison have the right to petition the court to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Record expungement is within reach once the mandated prison time is served and the Certificate of Rehabilitation is obtained.  Let our record expungement attorneys analyze your case, advocate on your behalf and ultimately clear your name.

California Penal Code 1000 requires that specific offenses pertaining to drugs do not automatically result in conviction. Rather, these offenses can qualify for diversion. An individual accused of a drug-related offense who successfully completes the PC 1000 diversion program will not face a conviction as the case should be dismissed. However, the arrest will still likely remain on the record.  If you have been arrested or convicted for a drug related offense, and have completed a diversion program or other form of state-mandated rehabilitation, contact our record expungement attorneys so we can clear your record for good.

California Penal Code 1210.1 states those found guilty of a drug offense classified as non-violent must be provided with probation and drug treatment instead of incarceration. This law is especially important as it qualifies plenty of additional convictions for non-violent drug offenses for PC 1203.4. As noted above, drug convictions can be wiped from your permanent record in the state of California with a record expungement.


California has an attempted DUI penal code referred to as 21A. This portion of the penal code explains one's attempt to commit a crime is comprised of two distinct elements. The first is the actual intent to commit the crime. The second element is a direct yet ineffective act performed toward the acts commission.

PC 21A is the state's universal law against the attempt to commit a crime. It applies to attempted crime yet it specifically refers to one's attempt to operate a motor vehicle when impaired or influenced by alcohol or drugs. A motor vehicle operator with at least a .08% blood alcohol concentration is considered under the influence of alcohol. Though it is uncommon to be charged with attempted DUI, this charge is possible in the following scenarios:

  • An individual arrested for DUI while seated in a parked car who is offered the option of an attempted DUI charge as a plea bargain.
  • The police detained the individual in question before he or she had the opportunity to drive. As an example, an individual who is detained when putting his or her vehicle in drive yet failing to pull away can be charged with attempted DUI.

An individual cannot be convicted of an attempted crime if the prosecutor cannot prove intent as well as attempt. Intent means the individual in question fully intended to commit the crime. As an example, someone who gets drunk or tipsy at a nightclub and decides to try to drive home has demonstrated intent. The attempt is the step one takes toward committing the crime. The letter of California's law states a direct step must be taken, regardless of whether it proved effective. 

Though DUI is a serious offense, it can be expunged with the assistance of a savvy California record expungement attorney.  If you attempt to live the remainder of your life without expunging your DUI, you will have plenty of problems.  It is best to wipe your slate clean with a record expungement, start anew and live life with an invaluable peace of mind.  Once your record is expunged, law enforcement agencies will be mandated by law to keep your records private.  A California DUI expungement dismisses the case, empower you to answer in the negative when asked if you have prior convictions and ultimately makes it that much easier to live a fulfilling life.  Let our attorneys work on expunging your record and you will find it is surprisingly easy to obtain employment, student loans, job licenses and certificates following your DUI.


DUI is one of the most common offenses as it involves two things most people enjoy: alcohol and driving.  If you are convicted of a DUI and would like your record expunged, the first step is to pay all of the fines and restitutions mandated by the court.  If all of your fines and restitutions are not paid in full, your record expungement will not be granted. The next step is to obtain a copy of your criminal record.  Present all available information to our record expungement attorneys.  We will zealously advocate on your behalf to expunge your record, clear your name and help you return your life to normalcy.


If you face any type of legal penalty or are interested in record expungement, contact our legal team today. Record Expungement Attorney is here to help clear your name and return your life to normal. Reach out to us today at 714-587-5907 to schedule a consultation.