Expungement Lawyer Los Angeles
An expungement is the process of having a conviction reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and then your guilty or no contest plea is then withdrawn to the charges. The conviction is then removed from public records. All misdemeanors can be expunged upon proper application to the court. Not all felonies can be expunged, however.
A person may apply to have his/her arrest or conviction expunged if he/she meets certain legal criteria. Before a person can have his/her arrest or conviction expunged, he/she must have met all the conditions of probation, such as payment of restitution, completing community service or finishing court ordered educational classes, and not be on probation for any other case or have a pending criminal case. If all of these requirements are met, the person may file a petition for expungement. A misdemeanor expungement must be granted. A felony expungement will be granted at the judge’s discretion. An attorney such as Mr. Melnik, who is skilled in this area, can increase your odds by preparing your case before your appearance at the hearing, to increase your chances of success.
Keep in mind that if you had a suspended sentence, where at your original sentencing the judge ordered a state prison sentence, but suspended it to delay that sentence, you are NOT eligible for an expungement. If you went to prison on a case, you are also not eligible for an expungement. In those two types of situations, you would need the equivalent of a pardon from the governor called a Certificate of Rehabilitation. This section of the Penal Code does not allow you to expunge certain serious sex offenses. Only the Governor can pardon you if there are extraordinary circumstances surrounding your conviction and life to obtain relief from a sex offense conviction.
Even though you are granted an expungement by the court for a conviction, there are three circumstances where you must still disclose your conviction on an application. If you apply for licensing by any state agency, such as a real estate license or nursing license, you must disclose the expunged conviction. Likewise, you must disclose a conviction if you apply for a job with the California State Lottery or apply for public office. After successful completion of an expungement, when you’re asked if you have been arrested or convicted for that particular crime, you can legally say “no” except as outlined above.
Any conviction that is expunged is only expunged for purposes of the public knowledge and for your sense of well being. If you are arrested on another case, the expunged conviction can still be used against you in a new prosecution. For example, if you had a felony burglary case expunged and were later arrested in possession of a firearm, you could still be charged with felon in possession of a firearm instead of a misdemeanor gun possession. Another example is a petty theft. If you are arrested for a new petty theft case after your old one was expunged, you can still be charged with the felony charge of Petty Theft with a Prior.
If you are interested in expunging your criminal record, do not hesitate to contact Mr. Melnik and speak to him directly to discuss what your options are.
Los Angeles Expungement Lawyer
At our law offices, our experienced Los Angeles expungement lawyers have the knowledge and capability to have most crimes removed from our clients’ criminal records. We have numerous years of experience in criminal defense law, in addition to substantial experience in the procedure for clearing criminal records.
If you’d like to go over the potential of having your record expunged, please contact our law offices today for a free consultation.
These are the types of expungements we specialize in:
- Misdemeanor expungement
- Felony expungement
- Felony reductions to misdemeanors
- Arrest record sealing
- Certificate of rehabilitation
- Set aside juvenile record
- Juvenile record sealing
- Megan’s Law website removal
Important Facts About Expungement:
– Several companies will just sell you publicly available information on how to file a petition to expunge/seal or for a governor’s pardon, then leave you to traverse the process yourself. We are a law firm which means we are able to file the paperwork for you, show up in court, and finish the whole process for you.
– If you’ve ever been arrested, you have a record, even if the case was dismissed. Your fingerprints and record are most likely with a minimum of 3 agencies: the arresting local police, Department of Justice and the FBI.
– A juvenile record does not expunge/seal automatically once you turn 18.
– A felony conviction with a suspended sentence never goes away, no matter how much time has transpired, unless you are granted a pardonby way of a Certificate of Rehabilitation
Sealing a Criminal Record in Los Angeles
Sealing your record and or police reports can be done in limited circumstances. Generally, you must be found factually innocent by a judge. That means innocent, not just found not guilty by a jury. There is a huge difference. There are also specific time limits on when this can be done, and generally must be done within 90 days of the conclusion of criminal proceedings. If granted, the arresting agency, court and Department of Justice must destroy your paper and electronic records and remove any entries from your rap sheet.
WHY EXPUNGEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT
A criminal record can stop you from getting a good job, obtaining credit, leasing an apartment, voting, obtaining certain licenses (nursing, realtor, medical, and other professional licenses), running for political positions, along with other benefits of society we overlook. Today more than ever before, employers are doing background checks on current and potential employees. Thanks to the Internet, information is accessible to anyone interested in knowing your past.Expunging the criminal record dismisses and sets aside your felony and/or misdemeanor conviction from the public record and your conviction must not be used against you to deny what you are seeking.