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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Are you eligible for expungement?

After a conviction, you may be surprised to find out how many areas of your life your criminal record can affect. For example, an employer may do a background check, discover your conviction and use the information in determining whether to hire you.

To keep your record from creating havoc in your life, you may be able to obtain an expungement, known as a dismissal in California. Whether you qualify for dismissal depends largely on the offense and the circumstances surrounding your penalties.

If your offense was a misdemeanor

In the case of a misdemeanor, you may qualify depending on the following circumstances:

  • You completed probation or received early release
  • The courts did not order probation and your conviction was at least a year ago
  • You paid all your fines and any restitution a judge ordered
  • You are not on probation or serving a sentence for another offense
  • You do not currently face any other charges
  • You have not broken the law or caused any trouble since your conviction

If your misdemeanor conviction was due to an offense under Pen. Code § 647(b), you completed an ordered probation and you have evidence you were the victim of human trafficking, it is up to the judge whether he or she grants you a dismissal.

If your offense was a felony

The court may grant a dismissal based on the discretion of the judge if you qualify after the probation department placed you on mandatory supervision and you completed your sentence more than one year ago. Or, the probation did not place you on mandatory supervision, but you completed the sentence at least two years ago. You cannot currently face any other charges or currently serve probation for any other offense. The court could find that granting you a dismissal is serving justice.

This is not an exhaustive list. Other circumstances that may affect eligibility include being a member of the armed services who suffered certain conditions due to your service, being a minor at the time of your conviction or receiving a deferred entry of judgment, to name a few. 

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