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California Record Expungement

Below is a quick overview of criminal expungement law in California, and what expungement can do for your life. You can expand each section to reveal further information about each California expungement topic. If you have any questions always feel free to contact us toll-free at 800-916-1228.

What is
Expungement?

Expunging your criminal record in California is the process of filing a legal petition, or motion, with the court where your conviction transpired pursuant California Penal Code 1203.4 to have the Judge re-open the case, to set aside the conviction and to dismiss the case. If the expungement petition is granted, you will no longer be considered convicted of the crime by the state of California, and your permanant criminal record will be updated to display a dismissal rather than a criminal conviction. Subsequently, once the conviction is expunged by the court you can then truthfully tell employers, your family, and all other interested parties that you have not previously been convicted of a crime. Furthermore, the expunged conviction will no longer show on employer and landlord background checks. Simply put, Criminal record expungement allows you to forget your past, so that you can fully embrace your future.

Today everything is online, and a thorough background check can be done with the stroke of keyboard. These background checks are used by potential employers, landlords, lenders, and anybody else that wants to get a grasp on your criminal history before initiating a relationship with you. If an employer, or landlord, runs a background check on you after the criminal expungement process has been completed, they will  no longer be able to see any information pertaining to the expunged criminal case. Thus, it is more important than ever to clean up your criminal history in this competitive job market. Expungement of your criminal record gives you a "fresh start," allowing you to move forward with your life without the worry that your past mistakes will hinder your future aspirations.

If you have been convicted of an infraction, misdemeanor or felony in the state of California you are entitled to expunge your criminal conviction if you meet the following criteria:

  • 1You were charged and convicted in state court, NOT federal court. Only state convictions are available for expungement.
  • 2Your sentence did not involve going to state prison. County jail and holding cells are NOT state prison. If you did go to state prison than you may be eligible for a California Certificate of Rehabilitation.
  • 3You have successfully completed your probationary term, or if you were not given probation, then one year must pass since your conviction date. However, if you are still on probation we can petition the court for early termination of your probation.
  • 4You must have satisfied all the requirements of your sentence (fines, restitution, mandatory programs, community service, classes, etc.).
  • 5You are not currently being charged with another criminal offense, on probation for another criminal offense, or serving a sentence for another criminal offense.
  • 6It must also be noted that there are several crimes that have been carved out in PC 1203.4 that are not available for expungement relief, all of which involve serious sex offenses committed against children. They include the following sections of the California Penal Code: 286(c), 288, 288.5, 289(j), and 261.5(d).

If you violated any of the terms of your probation, you can still seek an expungment under PC 1203.4. When a probation violation is present it is important that we build as strong of a case as possible for expungement. The court will look at the following factors when deciding whether to grant the expungement:

  • 1Your overall performance and behavior while on probation.
  • 2The seriousness of the probation violation.
  • 3The seriousness of the underlying conviction.
  • 4Your overall criminal record (are you a repeat offender).
  • 5All the evidence we can provide that demonstrates you are deserving of expungment relief, such as: your inability to find employment; your role in taking care of your dependants and family; your positive role in your community, or in the lives of those you come in contact with; the positive things you have done since the conviction (e.g., attending college or trade school, work promotions, etc.).

Our law firm thrives on these more challenging expungement cases, and we will put together the strongest case possible for you. We will get to know you and your background, allowing us to find, and highlight, the most pursuasive arguments for the Judge.

Expungement relief may still be available to you even if you are currently on probation. We are able to petition the court under California Penal Code 1203.3 for early termination of your probation in the interest of justice. At the same time, we also ask the court for expungement under PC 1203.4. If the Judge is willing to grant early termination of your probation, they will almost always also grant the expungement at the same time. Although a PC 1203.3 petition for early termination of probation can be filed at any time during your probationary period, we highly suggest that you complete at least half of your probationary term before the petition is filed, as this will greatly increase your chances of getting the petition granted by the Judge. Also you must have satisfied all of your other sentencing requirements, such as fines, restitution, participation in mandatory classes and programs, and community service. Petitioning the court for early termination, and expungement of your underlying conviction, allows you to quickly forget about a mistake you made and to move on with your life.

A majority of our clients have multiple criminal cases in their life, and having multiple cases does not preclude you from seeking out expungement relief in California. Each criminal case must be handled separately, and an expungement petition would need to be filed for each criminal case you wish to expunge. We specialize in helping clients with multiple cases clean up their entire crimianl record, no matter how many cases or jurisdictions are involved. If you sign up with us to expunge more than one criminal case, then all subsequent criminal case expungements will be substantially discounted. View our multiple conviction discount page.

Once you contact our law firm and sign up for one our California expungement services we (David Huffman, our founding attorney) will move through the following steps:

  • 1We will reach out to you and welcome you.
  • 2We will attempt to obtain the necessary case details for expungement from the court.
  • 3We will inquire with you about your case details and your personal details, all with the aim of building the strongest case possible for expungement.
  • 4We will analyze your case details to determine if in fact your conviction is eligible for expungement relief in the state of California.
  • 5We will research all applicable current state laws and regulations.
  • 6We will prepare the expungement petition / motion.
  • 7We will file all the appropriate paperwork within the required timeframes, and will serve the prosecuting attorney as required by Penal Code 1203.4.
  • 8We will pay all filing fees and court costs (this is included in our fixed prices).
  • 9We attend all expungement hearings on your behalf, and you are not required to attend.
  • 10We will provide you with a signed order from the Judge, granting the expungement.
  • 11We will ensure that the criminal databases, used for background checks by employers and landlords, are updated to reflect the expungement.
  • 12And you can rest assured, since most of our services are covered by our 100% money back guarantee.

Not only will expunging your criminal record have positive intangible benefits, such as peace of mind, it will also provide the following concrete benefits as well:

  • 1In almost all cases private employers cannot ask about convictions that were dismissed under Penal Code 1203.4, nor can a conviction that was dismissed be considered for employment purposes.
  • 2Your expunged conviction will not show up on employer OR landlord background checks. Which means you no longer have to worry about being discriminated against. 
  • 3You can truthfully and legally answer "NO" on private sector job OR rental applications when asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime.
  • 4You can greatly increase your earning potential by becoming eligible for more employment opportunities.
  • 5You may become eligible for more professional licenses and certificates.
  • 6Reducing a "wobbler" felony conviction to a misdemeanor can restore certain rights, such as your right to own a gun. See list of California felony "wobbler" offenses.
  • 7You may become eligible for more student loans.
  • 8You may become eligible for housing assistance.
  • 9You can tell friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime.
  • 10You have the satisfaction of forgetting the past for good and moving forward into a more positive future.

Although getting your criminal record expunged in California an have huge benefits for your life, it does not hide the criminal case in all situations. There are still situations where the underlying conviction can against you moving forward in your life.

  • 1An expunged case can still be used against you in the sentencing of a subsequent case. Example: If you get a DUI conviction expunged, it can still be used against you as a prior DUI if you were to get a second DUI within 10 years, and the fact that the case was expunged would mean nothing.
  • 2Expungement in California does NOT restore your right to own a firearm. If you are forbidden from owning a firearm due to a felony conviction, than we would need to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor to restore your 2nd Amendment right. We specialize in doing this, so give us a call if you are trying to restore your gun rights.
  • 3You must disclose the previous conviction, and expungement, in three very narrow circumstances in the future as dictated by Penal Code 1203.4. If your situation is not on this list after expungement then you can answer "NO" when asked if you have a criminal past:
    • If contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.
    • When applying for public office (if you run for governor, mayor, etc.).
    • When applying for a state license. These are the only three circumstances wherein you would need to disclose an expunged case in your life.
  • 4Expungement does not seal your record, rather it removes the conviction from your record and updates the record to show as dismissed. Your permanant DOJ rap sheet will still show the full details of the criminal case, including the expungement. However, very few entities have access to your DOJ rap sheet, which requires your consent and your fingerprints.  But, on normal employer background checks, which account for over 95% of the employment marketplace, nothing from your past will show. Lastly, even if an employer is able to demand a DOJ rap sheet from you, then an expunged record will still look a lot better there as well.
There is no reason
to let your criminal past hold you back in life.
There are laws in California that allow people who have made mistakes to expunge their criminal records.
David Huffman, Esq.

David Huffman, Esq.
Founding Attorney, Fresh Start Law Center

David Huffman, Esq.

What makes us different?

Hiring an attorney can be a scary process, and finding somebody you can trust, and afford, can be a challenge.

When you hire Fresh Start Law Center to help you clean up your criminal record, you know exactly what you are getting - Friendly and honest expungement legal services at an affordable fixed price (no hidden costs, ever). From the second you sign up with us you will have direct contact with our founding attorney, Mr. Huffman (pictured), and he will apply his unique expertise in California record clearing and expungement laws to the individual details of your situation. Not only will we tirelessly strive to get the absolute best outcome for you, and your family, but we also provide our services to you at a fixed price (no hidden fees), so that there are never any surprises down the road.

Fresh Start Law Center provides record clearing services throughout the entire state of California. Our attorneys are licensed, and have experience, in every courthouse in the state of California. We conveniently have a Southern, and Northern, California office to serve your needs. So no matter where your case is located, from a rural town to a metropolitan city, we are there to assist you with your criminal record expungement needs.

Are you tired of your mistakes holding you back in life? We can help. Reach out to us today for a 100% free consultation and find out how we can help you forget the past and embrace the future.™

Call toll-free anytime to speak directly with Mr. Huffman about your situation - (800) 916-1228

Fresh Start Law Center - California Criminal Expungement Law Firm
Why Choose Us ?
  • Super Fast Expungement Case Resolution
    Fast Case
    Resolution
    Fast Case
    Resolution

    Most of our expungement cases are completed in just 6-12 weeks, meaning you can quickly move forward with you life. We also offer expedited service in most counties.

  • Expungement Money Back Guarantee
    Money Back
    Guarantee
    Money Back
    Guarantee

    We offer a 100% money back guarantee on most of our services. If we do not successfully expunge your criminal case, then you don't pay us. It's that simple.
    - READ MORE -

  • Lowest Price Guarantee On All Expungement Services
    105% Low Price
    Guarantee
    105% Low Price
    Guarantee

    We take pride in offering affordable pricing to our clients. We are so sure that we have the lowest fixed prices for our expungement services that we guarantee it!
    - READ MORE -

  • Expungement Law Firm - Serving All California
    Serving All
    of California
    Serving All
    of California

    We provide our specialized criminal expungement legal services throughout the entire state of California. From San Diego to Humboldt County, we are here to help with your expungement needs.

  • Multiple Case Discounts
    Multiple Case
    Discounts
    Multiple Case
    Discounts

    Do you have multiple cases? No problem. We specialize in clearing up your entire criminal record, and we provide discounted pricing for multiple expungement cases.
    - READ MORE -

  • Experienced California Criminal Expungement Law Firm
    Experienced
    Law Firm
    Experienced
    Law Firm

    We have won thousands of expungement cases for our clients in California. We have seen every type of expungement case, and we specialize in this unique area of law.
    - READ MORE -

Expungement Service Offered

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • BBB A+ Rating

    I would highly recommend Fresh Start. They did everything they promised, on time and with wonderful customer service. I am very pleased!

    DONNA P.
    LOS ANGELES
  • Yelp rating

    David Huffman and his team are top notch.  I used them for two cases and they won both.  Their prices were reasonable and there service excellent. 5 Stars!!!

    ROBERT T.
    SAN DIEGO
  • TRUSTPILOT Rating

    Highly recommend Fresh Start Law Center to anyone needing this type of assistance. Totally reliable and well worth the money. Mr. Huffman was a joy to work with.

    SHANNON R.
    SAN FRANCISCO

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