Cleaning up your criminal record is not only possible but also can be critical to your future. At Chastaine Jones, our attorneys help you to get a new lease on life.
A dismissal pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4 is commonly referred to as an “expungement.”
In general, expungements are available to individuals who:
Having your case dismissed pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4 prevents most employers from asking you about your conviction or using it against you in the hiring process. If your case is dismissed per 1203.4 you will legally be able to say, on most applications, that you have never been convicted of the crime.
An expungement does not, however, result in a complete erasure of the record. What an employer, or residential leasing company, will see on your background check is different from what law enforcement or professional licensing agencies will see.
While in some cases you would not be required to disclose that you had been previously convicted of the crime, law enforcement agencies and other professional licensing entities will likely be able to see and inquire about the conviction. It is important to discuss with an attorney if you should disclose your conviction on an application after you receive an expungement.
Most crimes are eligible for an expungement, even if there was a violation of your probation. Most felonies for which you were granted probation, and most misdemeanors, are eligible for a dismissal per Penal Code 1203.4. Recently, the law has also expanded to cover those who served an otherwise state prison sentence in a county facility pursuant to Penal Code Section 1170(h). If you went to state prison for your crime, then a Certificate of Rehabilitation will need to be filed.
Another type of relief, that often goes hand in hand with an expungement is a reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Section 17(b). If your conviction could have been charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor is it known as a “wobbler.”
Felony wobbler convictions may be reduced to a misdemeanor.
There are several benefits to having your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor before having it expunged, such as restoration of your California gun rights. Propositions 47 and 64 are also options to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor.
Chastaine Jones is also able to assist in the early termination of your probation. Your status as a probationer may limit you from many things. Fortunately, Penal Code Section 1203.3 allows the Court discretion to terminate your probation if you have otherwise completed all of your terms and conditions and can show the Court there is a compelling reason to do so.
Although it is not stated in the statute, it is generally accepted that you should have completed AT LEAST half of your probation term before petitioning for early termination. It’s also possible to file for the felony reduction, expungement and early termination of probation at the same time.
Certificates of rehabilitation can be extremely helpful in cleaning up your records and may be required for an application of a Governor’s Pardon.
Previously a certificate of rehabilitation was the only pathway to being relieved of the duty to register under Penal Code 290. However, recent changes in the law have taken that option away in favor of applying under the tier system set out in Penal Code section 290.5, which went into effect July 1, 2021.
The attorneys at Chastaine Jones are well-versed in expungement law and have successfully cleaned up the record of hundreds of clients. Our legal team can help you move on after an arrest. We have a proven process and want to see every case end with a dismissal. Call us today at (916) 932-7150 or send us an email to arrange a time convenient for your consultation.
Get to know our experienced criminal defense attorneys, Martin Jones, Mike Chastaine, and Jessica Davis. Do you need legal advice? Contact our Gold River criminal defense law firm today!