ExpungementHe Who Hath No Sin...
The Expungement Process
Financial hardship, emotional distress, fatigue, shame, embarrassment, fear and depression are some of many contributing factors to us exercising bad judgment. However, when bad judgment results in a criminal record, the residual effect can destroy the hopes, dreams and future wellbeing of not only the person arrested, but his or her children, family, friends, employees and co-workers.
In today’s difficult economic times, one, even minor criminal conviction can finding employment or advancement in your chosen career challenging, if not impossible. The burden of a criminal conviction weighs you down and robs you of your dignity and self-respect. The expungement process can be the first step in the restoration of your good name and reputation. Let us help!
An expungement is a court process where a misdemeanor or felony conviction is set aside and your case is dismissed. The expungement process may relieve you of certain penalties that result from a criminal record. However, the expungement process does not ‘clean’ your ‘record’. Through the process, the conviction entered at the time you were sentenced remains on your record, but by successfully expunging the offense, an additional entry is made to your record indicating that on a certain date a judge authorized the previous guilty or no contest plea to be withdrawn, a not guilty plea to be entered, and the case was dismissed in the interests of justice.
You are eligible to have your criminal conviction expunged if:
- You have successfully completed probation or been granted an early termination of your probationary period.
- If your probation has not expired, you will have to petition the court for early termination of your probation.
- If you were not granted probation and one year has passed since you were sentenced by the court.
- You are not now serving a sentence nor on probation for any other offense.
- You have not been charged with, or convicted of, a new offense that is still pending in court.
If you meet the above conditions, you may petition the court to withdraw your plea of guilty, set aside your conviction and dismiss the charge(s) against you.
No. Infractions and felony convictions for which you are sentenced state prison, or for which a suspended state prison sentence is imposed, can not be expunged. Nor can federal convictions be expunged.
The primary benefit from expunging your criminal history is that In almost every case, if you apply for a government or private sector job, even if the employment requires you to be credentialed or licensed, you may state on the employment application that you have never been convicted of a crime. As indicated earlier, your prior conviction may still appear if a ‘background’ search is performed. However, the prospective employer or agency will also be alerted that a judge authorized the previous guilty or no contest plea to be withdrawn, a not guilty plea to be entered, and the case was dismissed in the interests of justice.