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Misdemeanor Expungement of California Criminal Convictions

If you have a misdemeanor California criminal conviction on your record, you may worry that it will stain your reputation forever and create hurdles to employment, housing, education and other opportunities. However, it may be possible to clean up your California criminal record through a process known as expungement. A skilled attorney from the Writs and Appeals Law Group of The Kavinoky Law Firm has the experience you need to clean up your criminal record through expungement or another form of post-conviction relief.

Although it was once possible to have a California criminal conviction expunged simply by completing certain requirements and making a request to the court that convicted you, state laws have changed. You must now have a formal hearing in order to have your California criminal conviction expunged.

You must also meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for expungement. If you were convicted of a felony, you must seek to have the offense reduced to a misdemeanor before it can be expunged. You must have completed probation, if applicable, or been granted early release. If you violated the terms of your probation and had it reinstated or revoked, it's up to the court to decide whether to grant expungement. If you weren't on probation, at least one year must pass between the date of conviction and the date that expungement is requested.

In addition, you must pay all fines, court fees and restitution ordered as part of the original sentence, and you cannot have any criminal charges pending or be on probation for another offense.

Certain offenses cannot be expunged, including most sex crimes and violations of California Vehicle Code section 42001(b), which includes sections 2800, 2801 and 2803.

If you meet all of the requirements for misdemeanor expungement, your attorney will file a petition with court that convicted you to have the charges dismissed, and a hearing will be held. If your petition is granted, you'll be allowed to withdraw your plea of guilty or nolo contendere / no contest, or your jury verdict will be set aside. When that occurs, the original charges are dismissed and you will no longer have a conviction on your record.

Expunging a California misdemeanor conviction has enormous benefits, but there are also limitations. You must disclose the conviction in certain circumstances, including applications for public office or any state license, such as real estate, stock broker, doctor, lawyer, etc., or when contracting with the California State Lottery.

Other circumstances may also require disclosure, such as applications to become a police officer. In addition, restrictions such as firearm possession or requirement to register as a sex offender will still apply.

Despite the limitations, the benefits of expunging a California misdemeanor conviction have the potential to change your life. Cleaning up your criminal record will remove obstacles to employment and many other opportunities. Perhaps even more valuable is the peace of mind that comes from rectifying a past mistake. To learn more about expungement or other forms of post-conviction relief, contact the Writs and Appeals Law Group at the Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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Bail Pending Sentencing or Appeal Direct Appeal
Withdrawing Guilty Pleas Writ of Habeas Corpus - State Court
Motions for a New Trial Writ of Habeas Corpus - Federal Court
Sentencing Memoranda Expungement
Bail Pending Sentencing or Appeal Sentencing Memoranda
Withdrawing Guilty Pleas Direct Appeal
Motions for a New Trial Federal Writ of Habeas Corpus
Representation at Sentencing