How To "Exsponge" Your Criminal Record
Many people are not sure how to pronounce, or spell, the legal process for removing criminal cases from your criminal record in California. The process is commonly known as expungement (proper spelling), but many people more commonly spell it esponge or exsponge. Regardless of how you spell it, the legal process of getting a criminal conviction removed from your record is technically called dismissal pursuant PC 1203.4. However, other states, outside of California, do call the process of erasing an old criminal convictions from your record expungement (or commonly spelled exspongement, or espongement).
The expungement process is a legal process, and it requires that the appropriate legal documents be filed with the court that has general jurisdiction of your criminal case. Often a hearing will be required and oral arguments will need to be made. If the Judge agrees to grant the request, they will then sign an official court order granting the dismissal, pursuant PC 1203.4, of your criminal conviction (i.e., expungement, exspongement, espongement).
What "Exspongement" Does / Does Not Do
Getting your record dismissed pursuant PC 1203.4 (i.e., expunged, exsponged, esponged) can have a many benefits on your life. First, in almost all situations in the state of California an expunged conviction will no longer be visible to potential employers, landlord or lenders. That by itself is powerful. Second, you can legally, and honestly state that you have no criminal convictions on a application once the criminal record has been expunged. This means that you never have to discuss an embarrassing criminal record again in your life.
However, getting your case expunged (i.e., exsponged, esponged) does have limitations and will not help in all situations. First, getting your criminal record expunged will not restore your gun rights, or your civil liberties in general. If your criminal conviction terminated your gun rights, then you will need to either get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and / or get a pardon from the California Governor. Second, an expunged criminal record will still have to be disclosed on applications for any type of state licensing, and may still be visible when applying for government jobs.
Even though there are a few limitations when getting your record expunged in California, getting your criminal record expunged can have a very positive effect on your life.