- What is an Expungement?
- What Crimes Can be Expunged?
- How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Record Expunged in California?
- How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Misdemeanor in California?
- Do Expunged Records Show on Background Checks for Employment?
- Is Expunged the Same as Dismissed?
- How Long Does it Take for your Record to Clear After Expungement?
- Can You Have a Felony Expunged in California?
- Do Expunged Records Show Up on Federal Background Checks?
- What Criminal Records Cannot be Expunged?
- Does Expungement Clear Your Record?
If you are ready to get your life back in order after being convicted of a crime, you may want to have your record expunged. The process can be complicated, and it is a good idea to find a lawyer that specializes in expungements to help you get things in order.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a procedure in which a judge allows for the record of a particular conviction to be sealed. This process makes them appear as if they are not on your record at all, and the conviction will not come up in a background check. Only a judge has the power to grant an expungement, and not all convictions can be expunged.
What Crimes Can be Expunged?
There are many crimes and convictions that can be expunged from your record once you have successfully completed the terms of your sentencing. However, there are several types of crimes that cannot be expunged. They include particular sexual assaults, crimes that involve child pornography, crimes that involve committing lewd acts with a minor, and if you have failed to submit to police inspection of your vehicle. Most other convictions can be expunged at the discretion of a judge.
How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Record Expunged in California?
The exact cost of having a crime expunged from your record will vary. However, filing the petition yourself will cost somewhere between $100 and $400. You may require the expertise of an attorney in order to make a better case to the judge for expungement, especially if your case is particularly complex.
How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Misdemeanor in California?
In California you can expect an expungement for a misdemeanor to be granted in about four to five weeks after the application has been filed with the court.
How do you get a Felony Expunged in California?
Before you can start the process of getting a felony expunged from your record, you need to make sure that you have completed all of the terms of your punishment. That means you have paid any fines or restitution that were due, you have served your jail time, and you have completed the terms of your probation.
Once you are ready to begin the expungement process, you will need to obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Superior Court in the county where you were convicted of your felony. A felony conviction isn’t as easy to expunge as a misdemeanor because you will need to petition the court to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor before you can proceed with the expungement process. If you are granted the reduction, you can file your petition.
If you cannot get your felony reduced or you are not granted the expungement, you can try and receive a Certificate of Rehabilitation instead. The process will probably require the services of an attorney as it can be complicated.
Do Expunged Records Show on Background Checks for Employment?
In most cases, an expunged record will not show up on a background check for employment. The court record of your initial conviction will still remain, but you are allowed to legally say that you have not been convicted of a crime on your application.
A general background check done by an employer or a college is not likely to pull up a record that is expunged. If you are applying for a government position that requires security clearances, your expunged conviction may be found during your federal FBI background check because the FBI database sometimes still holds convictions that have been cleared by the states. If you are applying for one of those types of convictions, it is a good idea to disclose your expungement before the background check rather than waiting to see if it comes back.
Is Expunged the Same as Dismissed?
No, they are not the same. A dismissed case means that you were charged with a crime but it was thrown out or dismissed, and you were never convicted. The record of the arrest is still there, but it is not a conviction. An expungement is done after a conviction and the terms of the sentencing have been met. It is basically sealed from your record and should not show up in a background check.
How Long Does it Take for your Record to Clear After Expungement?
The length of time it takes for your record to clear can depend on how old the case is and how busy the courts may during the time you have filed your petition. In general, it will take 90 to 120 days for your record to clear. If your case is more than ten years old, it may take longer.
Can You Have a Felony Expunged in California?
Technically a felony charge cannot be expunged in California, but you can have your felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor charge. Once the charge has been reduced, then you are able to start the process of expungement. You will likely want to hire an attorney to navigate this process because it can be long and complicated.
Do Expunged Records Show Up on Federal Background Checks?
In most cases, an expunged record will not show up on a background check. However, the FBI is not always required to remove sealed or expunged criminal records from its database. It can happen that the FBI reports an expunged conviction.
What Criminal Records Cannot be Expunged?
In the state of California, any serious sexual crime against a child cannot be expunged. The following crimes will not be allowed to be expunged even after the terms of the punishment have been fulfilled:
- Penal Code 286(c): Sodomy with a child
- Penal Code 288: Lewd acts with a child
- Penal Code 288a(c): Oral copulation with a child
- Penal Code 261.5(d): Statutory rape
A felony conviction cannot be expunged unless it has been dropped down to a misdemeanor conviction.
Does Expungement Clear Your Record?
In most cases, an expungement will clear your record even during an employment background check. Under California law, you are legally allowed to answer that you have never committed a crime if your record has been expunged.
It is possible that your expunged conviction will show up on an FBI background check if the conviction has not been removed from the FBI’s databases. Also, a conviction that is “prior-able” will not be eliminated with an expungement. For instance, even if a DUI is expunged, you can still be charged with a second DUI if you are caught again within the ten-year period. This will mean that your sentencing will be considered as a second offense even though the first offense has been expunged.
If you are attempting to have convictions removed from your record with an expungement, consult with an attorney that is well-versed in the procedure. You will have a better chance of getting your conviction expunged when you have someone on your side that is familiar with the system and knowledgeable of all the steps involved. This is especially true if you need to get a felony conviction lowered to a misdemeanor before you can begin the expungement process.
For honest advice about realistic outcomes in your Expungement case and the strategies that will achieve the best result, call The Law Offices of Randy Collins at (888) 250-2865 for a free consultation. We are expungement experts in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Diego County, and elsewhere in Southern California.