Having a criminal record expunged in California will change the way a charge is recorded. An expungement changes a plea of guilty or no contest to not guilty. An expungement also changes your record to reflect that your charge was dismissed.
There are a number of benefits associated with getting your record expunged in California. However, you should know that it does not completely erase a criminal record.
Expungement Changes Your Criminal Record in California
There are several “meanings” to having your record expunged here in Los Angeles. First and foremost, getting an expungement will change your criminal record. Officially, the court will adjust your record to show that you pled not-guilty and that your charges were dismissed.
However, an expungement does not wipe a charge completely off of your criminal record. Evidence that you were charged will remain, and there are a number of effects that are not reversed by an expungement.
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Benefits to Getting an Expungement in Los Angeles
You can take steps to get your criminal record expunged in Los Angeles. If the court agrees to expunge your record, it can help you in several ways. For example, potential employers cannot use an expunged conviction against you.
In fact, you can legally tell an employer you were not convicted if your charges were expunged. Additionally, securing an expungement:
- Makes it easier for you to acquire many professional licenses
- Helps you get a membership to some organizations
- Improves your credibility if you are called as a witness in a court case
Expunging a criminal record comes with clear benefits here in California. You can take steps to get your record expunged by working with the Simmrin Law Group. We’ll review your case to see if an expungement is right for you if you call (310) 997-4688.
Limitations of an Expungement in California
Expungements in Los Angeles do not completely erase all of the effects of a criminal conviction. Before seeking an expungement, you should know that this process will not:
- Reinstate your driving privileges if you had a license suspension
- Give you back the right to own firearms if you were convicted of a felony
- Allow you to avoid registering as a sex offender
These results of a criminal conviction remain even after an expungement. However, the court does not hand down these penalties in all criminal cases. You may only lose your driving privileges if you were convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), for example.
Additionally, expunged charges still count against you if you face subsequent criminal charges in Los Angeles. This is important in two main situations, involving:
DUIs in California are considered “priorable.” This means that each time you get convicted of a DUI in a 10-year period, the penalties grow higher. You face higher fines, a longer period of incarceration, and harsher license restrictions with each conviction.
An expungement does not help with this.
California’s Three-Strike Law
California considers some felonies to be “strikes.” These felonies are usually violent crimes. Each “strike” you get will result in a harsher prison sentence.
Individuals with three strikes can face life in prison. An expungement does not take a strike off of your record.
Eligibility for an Expungement in Los Angeles
Expungement can benefit many people in the state of California. However, you should know that not everyone is eligible to get their charges expunged. You can seek an expungement if:
- You completed all the terms of your probation
- You did not spend time in prison
- You are not facing current charges for a different crime
- You are not on probation or incarcerated for a different crime
Completing the terms of your probation can involve paying fines, completing community service, and attending any court-ordered programs. Be aware that the court system allows some people to seek an expungement, even after spending time in prison. Find out more by contacting a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles now.
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Ask a Lawyer What It Means to Get Your Record Expunged
Having your record expunged means that your record will show a criminal charge you faced was dismissed. This can help you as you seek employment and with other aspects of your life. The Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles can help you with the expungement process.
Find out how with a free consultation right now. Reach out to us easily by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.