An expungement allows an individual to officially change a guilty plea to a not-guilty plea in the state of California. Generally, expungements apply to convictions for certain criminal charges in Los Angeles. You can usually seek an expungement if you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense in our area, though the court can also expunge some felonies.
Find out more about the charges and convictions that are eligible for an expungement with this article.
Situations that Allow an Expungement in California
Expungements are available after many criminal convictions in the state of California. You may receive an expungement if you:
- Completed your probation
- Did not spend time in prison
- Are not currently facing charges for another crime
- Are not on probation or incarcerated for another charge
Note that, in some cases, there are exceptions for spending time in prison. You can still seek an expungement if you were sentenced to prison under a charge that would not have led to prison time under Proposition 47. If you meet the above qualifications, you could seek an expungement for a conviction here in California.
Completion of Probation and Expungement in Los Angeles
You can apply for an expungement if you were convicted and successfully completed your probation. Many individuals in Los Angeles are not sure what it means to “successfully complete” probation. This involves completing any terms of your probation, such as:
- Paying all court fines
- Providing restitution to alleged victims
- Attending counseling serves
- Performing community service
You must also go to court as required and you must not commit any new criminal offenses while you are on probation. Taking these steps can help you become eligible for expungement.
Note that, in some situations, you can request the early termination of your probation. A criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles can help you file a request to end your probation early. You can apply for an expungement if your probation is ended early by the court.
Uses of Expungements in California
An expungement can apply to criminal convictions in California. Legally, an expungement allows you to change a guilty or no-contest plea to a not-guilty plea. The court then considers your case dismissed.
Employers cannot refuse you a job based on a past criminal conviction if you get an expungement. A criminal conviction will not count against you if you want to seek a professional license if you get an expungement.
However, expungements do not erase your criminal record completely. The court limits the benefits of expungement. Expungements will not:
- End a driver’s license suspension
- Give you back your gun rights if you were convicted of a felony
- Remove any requirements to register as a sex offender
Furthermore, expunged charges are still considered “priorable” by the state of California. This means that they may still count against you if you are charged with a subsequent criminal act. This is especially serious if you were charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
Other Ways to Handle Criminal Charges in California
An expungement can help you mitigate the severity of a criminal conviction in the state of California. However, you can see that expungements do not completely erase the consequences of a criminal conviction.
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle charges before you are convicted. A lawyer can work to protect you from penalties like fines and incarceration. You can work with a lawyer to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Reducing your charges often involves accepting a plea bargain from the prosecution. These deals will require you to accept a less severe charge with lowered penalties. A lawyer can also stand up for you in court here in Los Angeles.
Ask A Lawyer How Expungements Apply to Criminal Convictions in California
Expungements apply to criminal convictions here in California. The Simmrin Law Group can help you apply for an expungement in many situations. We’ll make sure you’re eligible for an expungement and handle all your legal needs during the expungement process.
Find out more by completing our online contact form or calling us at (310) 997-4688. This can allow you to reach a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. We’ll discuss all of your legal options after a conviction with a free consultation.