Whether you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, an Inland Empire / Los Angeles criminal conviction can have many negative consequences beyond the punishment imposed by the judge. The impact of a criminal conviction can be felt long after all of the terms and conditions of a formal sentence and probation have been fulfilled.
Because many inexpensive online companies offer to perform quick background searches, it has never been easier to discover your criminal record. Many people convicted of a criminal offense do not realize the impact of a misdemeanor or felony record until they are denied a job, security clearance, or an adjustment in immigration status. There are many informal adverse effects of a conviction that can be mitigated by a successful expungement.
Because many convictions cannot be expunged, you should seek legal advice before pleading guilty or facing charges without an experienced criminal defense lawyer. As a Pomona criminal defense attorney, my objective is to explore all potential defenses to prevent a conviction when this is a viable option. When I discuss potential defense tactics with clients, this analysis includes the informal consequences of a conviction as well as whether the relevant offense qualifies for expungement. When seeking to protect my clients from the harsh consequences of a conviction, I prepare a compelling motion and persuasively represent them at their hearings.
Expungement of Convictions in California (California Penal Code 1203.4)
Expungement of a conviction under California law provides that you generally can respond negatively when asked by a private employer if you have a criminal record. Given the competition for jobs in a difficult employment environment, an expungement can protect you from disqualification for a position. Most private employers also will not be unable to discover your conviction when conducting a background check after a successful expungement. An expunged conviction can also provide similar protection when you are applying for rental housing. While a professional or state occupational licensing board still can obtain information about a conviction, the change in status from an expungement might permit an individual to keep such a license.
However, expungement is not a form of record clearing that is available to everyone with a criminal conviction. An individual convicted of a misdemeanor or felony generally cannot qualify for expungement unless the following two conditions are satisfied:
- Completion of all of the terms and conditions of probation
- Not currently subject to a criminal charge, probation, or a criminal sentence
There are a couple of situations where my Inland Empire / Los Angeles criminal defense firm might be able to help even if you cannot completely meet these conditions. If your probation is still pending, but you have satisfied all of the terms and conditions, including paying appropriate fines, attending classes, performing community service, and other requirements, my law firm can explore the option of filing a motion for early termination of probation. Further, I might be able to seek expungement of your conviction even if you violated your probation depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.
Not Qualified for California Expungement Relief
If you have not satisfied all of the terms and conditions of your probation, you might still qualify for expungement. When I submit my motion and appear before the judge, I might ask the judge to consider: (1) your overall conduct while on probation; (2) past criminal record; (3) the severity of your charges; (4) your current employment opportunities; (5) your efforts to support your family, and (6) your ties to the community. It is important to seek prompt legal advice about the availability of expungement relief because certain felony offenses committed against children result in automatic disqualification.
While expungement can provide powerful relief, there are certain limitations to the benefits provided by expungement. The following are examples of forms of relief that the expungement process cannot provide:
- Eliminate your duty to register as a sex offender
- Restore your rights to gun ownership and/or possession
- Reverse a suspension/revocation of your driver’s license for a DUI conviction
If you wish to mitigate the impact of a criminal record in the Inland Empire / Los Angeles or surrounding areas of Southern California, Pomona DUI attorney Danny Saleh offers a free consultation, so he can evaluate your situation and discuss your alternatives. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.