Types of Record Expungements

A criminal arrest or a criminal conviction has the potential to make life incredibly difficult.  An arrest or conviction for alleged criminal activity has the potential to sabotage your chances of landing a decent job, obtaining a professional certification or license, being approved for an apartment lease and even working for the government.  If you have an arrest or conviction on your record, it is in your best interest to have your record fully expunged.  Let our attorneys expunge your record and your reputation will be fully protected when applying for employment, insurance, an apartment lease and other necessities of life.  Let’s take a look at the basics of record expungement in California and the many different expungement options available. 


Record expungement is available to Californians who have complied with the terms of their sentence and completed the sentence in full.  Furthermore, probation requirements must also be met down to the very last detail.  If you are serving a sentence for an additional crime or charged with another crime, record expungement is not an option.  If you have served time in state prison for a state felony, it might be challenging to expunge your criminal record.  Furthermore, if the conviction mandates you register as a sex offender, such registration must continue even after the expungement.


No two expungement cases are the same.  As an example, an individual wrongfully accused of a crime can receive an expungement fairly quickly.  If the charges brought against the person in question are dismissed, expungement will likely be granted.  An acquittal of charges will also prompt eligibility for record expungement.  Those who complete a diversion program or deferred judgement along with a sentence might also prove eligible for record expungement.  

The examples detailed above are only a few of the types of cases eligible for expungement according to federal law.  Though there is not an exact timeframe in which a record is eligible for expungement, it is still necessary to be proactive and hire an attorney for expungement.  The bottom line is record expungement is not something that is triggered in an automatic fashion after a certain amount of time passes. This process requires the assistance of a seasoned record expungement attorney. 


If you are found guilty of a felony crime or arrested for an alleged felonious action, record expungement is possible.  However, some felonies are more serious than others.  Especially serious felonies such as sexual offenses ranging from the distribution of child pornography to rape or violent crimes will prove difficult to expunge.  In the vast majority of cases, it is nearly impossible to expunge these egregiously violent crimes.  A petition for expungement must be filed with the court that found you guilty of the felony.  

Meet with Record Expungement Attorney to discuss the nuances of petitioning the court for an expungement.  Such a petition is available online yet this is not a DIY (do it yourself) project.  Those who attempt to represent themselves in a pro se manner have a significantly higher failure rate than those who ally with a record expungement attorney.  You need the assistance of an experienced attorney to emerge with a full expungement of your felony crime.  Expunging a felony arrest or conviction from your record has the potential to prove quite complex and lengthy.  Lean on our legal team for assistance and we will do everything in our power to persuade the judge to grant the expungement of your record.


Misdemeanors crimes are not as serious as felony crimes.  The misdemeanor variety is punishable with a monetary fine, community service ordered by the court and a year or less in jail.  The chances of expunging a misdemeanor from your record are dependent on the details of the crime in question as well as the court considering the expungement request.  Misdemeanors that are not egregiously serious typically prove fairly easy to clear, especially if it is your first-ever offense.  

Meet with Record Expungement Attorney so we can review your unique situation. Our savvy expungement aficionados will fill out the required paperwork exactly as desired by the court where the conviction occurred. Our record expungement attorney will also make a court appearance on your behalf.  If your misdemeanor conviction or arrest is more similar to a felony crime, it will be that much more challenging to expunge your record.  Misdemeanors such as assault, theft and DUIs are commonly referred to as wobblers, meaning they can be treated similar to a misdemeanor or a felony.  Some such wobblers cannot be expunged regardless of the details of the conviction or the length of time that has passed since the transgression originally occurred.


Though some states do not allow the expungement of a DUI, Golden State residents are eligible for expungement following a DUI arrest or conviction.  If the DUI sentence involves probation without jail time and the DUI probation conditions are met in full, an expungement is possible.  However, if additional criminal charges are pending, DUI expungement will prove challenging, if not impossible.  A DUI case impacts more than your criminal record.  A DUI also impacts your driving record.  Criminal cases must be distinguished from civil cases and administrative cases.  Expungement does not have anything to do with your driving record. There is no impact on driver’s license restrictions or other issues managed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. 


A Certificate of Actual Innocence is the most powerful type of expungement.  This style of expungement is issued if the individual is charged with a crime and the charges are subsequently dropped.  Think of the Certificate of Actual Innocence as proof that the legal record should not have existed in any form to start with.  Alternatively, if the defendant is determined to be not guilty following a trial, a Certificate of Actual Innocence is issued.  Obtaining such a certificate offsets the chance that a record might be unsealed. Once you are certain your record will remain permanently sealed, you will not have to worry about any potential issues rearing their ugly heads down the line.  


Those convicted of a crime and seeking expungement might benefit from proof of rehabilitation.  Such a proof can function on its own or be applied as a component of the petition.  Proof of Rehabilitation shows evidentiary proof the individual in question has completed the steps required to live a life characterized by exemplary and socially responsible behavior.  The individual must have taken the actions necessary to proactively correct past alleged or actual wrongs.  Proof of Rehabilitation will not be granted unless the individual demonstrates remorse and provides the full payment of restitution owed to victims.


Expungement is also available through a pardon provided by state law enforcement officials.  Pardons do not erase the crime allegedly committed.  Rather, a pardon serves as an official notice of forgiveness for the crime.  It will still be necessary to reveal information about prior criminal activity when requested.  However, the pardon will offset the record’s impact to a certain degree.


In order to file for an expungement of a juvenile criminal record or juvenile arrest, certain conditions must be met.  If the verdict is favorable, you have the right to file an appeal to have the arrest and charges expunged without delay.  If a full year has passed and you have fulfilled the requirements of a juvenile diversion program, our attorney can file for expungement on your behalf.  If four years have passed, the court might have dismissed jurisdiction.  Alternatively, if four years pass and you have been released from your court-mandated commitments, our legal time will file for record expungement on your behalf.


If you are arrested in the state of California, the arrest will remain on your criminal record even if it does not result in a conviction.  Your best course of action in such a situation is to reach out to our record expungement and record sealing attorneys to seal your criminal arrest record.  Once your criminal arrest record is sealed, you will find it is that much easier to do the following:

  • Obtain employment
  • Convince a landlord to rent an apartment to you
  • Obtain insurance of all varieties
  • Obtain student loans
  • Be admitted to colleges, universities and trade schools
  • Obtain approval for California licenses and certifications

The sad truth is the vast majority of organizations rely on criminal background checks when determining whether an applicant should be hired, approved, accepted or cleared in another manner.  If a criminal arrest is on your record, it will be awfully difficult to persuade prospective employers, landlords, insurance providers and college admissions representatives you are worthy of approval.  Though California law makes it illegal for employers to ask applicants about arrests that did not result in a conviction, many hiring managers will not consider applicants with even a single black mark on their rap sheet.


If you are arrested for an alleged criminal act yet never charged and the statute of limitations has expired, you qualify for a sealing of your criminal arrest record.  If there was an arrest and charges were filed then subsequently dismissed and there is no potential for the charges to be re-filed, you qualify for criminal arrest record sealing. If you were arrested and charges were filed but you were subsequently acquitted, meet with our attorneys at your earliest convenience to kick-start the record sealing process. 

Even those arrested and convicted of the alleged crime in question qualify for criminal arrest record sealing.  If the conviction is reversed or vacated and it is not possible to re-file the charge(s), you should lean on our attorneys to have your criminal arrest record sealed.  Let our record sealing and expungement attorneys file a petition with the court to seal your record and it will likely be approved in accordance with the rights granted to all residents of the state of California. 

However, if the charge in question relates to domestic violence or the abuse of a child or senior citizen, the court might not grant the petition.  Furthermore, petition approval will prove difficult if there is a pattern of criminal behavior.  Multiple arrests and/or convictions within three years from another arrest or conviction constitutes a pattern.  Even if your past behavior demonstrates such a pattern, there is still a chance the court will grant the sealing of your record. 

If the judge determines it is in the best interest of justice, he or she may decide to grant the petition to seal your record.  Factors weighed when considering whether it is in the interest of justice to grant a record sealing include the hardship induced by the arrest, evidence or declarations of evidence pertaining to the arrest, evidence or declarations pertaining to good character and records showing no criminal convictions before and after the arrest.


Rely on our record expungement and record sealing attorneys to restore your good name and you will find life proves that much easier and enjoyable in a number of facets.  If the judge grants the petition to seal your arrest and court record, the arrest will no longer be visible to the general public. Only those with the proper authorization who work for specific government agencies will be able to see the arrest occurred.  The court’s order will fully seal your arrest record, related court records and even police reports relating to the incident in question.  The court order dictates such records and reports are not disclosed to anyone but those at criminal justice agencies who have the proper authorization level. 

Furthermore, the court order for record sealing will make it as though the arrest never occurred.  This aspect of record sealing is especially important as it means you can state in full honesty you have never been arrested for the crime in question.  However, if you are directly asked about your criminal past when applying for a peace officer position, public office or a license issued by a California agency, you will likely be removed from consideration unless you reveal the facts of the incident in question.  If you are under consideration for any type of contracting position with the California State Lottery Commission, you will not be able to deny the arrest occurred.


Leaving an arrest or conviction on your record will inevitably create some harsh consequences long after you pay your debt to society.  The unfortunate truth is any type of black mark on your record will make living a normal life nearly impossible. If you are considering a record expungement of any variety, do not attempt to maneuver the complicated legal maze on your own.  Contact Record Expungement Attorney at 714-587-5907 to coordinate an initial consultation.  Our legal team is here for you 24/7/365.