Everyone makes mistakes. But one mistake doesn't have to mean the end of the world. If you have a criminal conviction in Los Angeles County, there are options available which may allow you to "clean up" your criminal record. When a felony or misdemeanor is "expunged," it is no longer considered a conviction under California law, subject to a few exceptions.
Thus, if you are applying for a new job and your case has been "expunged," you generally do not have to disclose the conviction to prospective employers. (Your Los Angeles expungement attorney can explain specific requirements.)
Penal Code section 1203.4, which is often called "expungement," has been widely expanded, as you can read in this Business Journal article, as well as in this update at:
There can be many significant benefits to expungement, including a more promising future.
So, where do you begin? Step 1 is to contact Los Angeles Expungement Attorney Gregory Caplan to determine your options.
Can You Get Your Criminal Record Expunged?
Below, is a general explanation of the Penal Code section 1203.4 expungement motion process. If you are successful, the benefits can be extraordinary.
This can clear the way to obtain a good job, state licenses, & most importantly, peace of mind.
This process has precise requirements, which you can learn about at: Los Angeles Expungement.
If you move forward without an attorney, and make a mistake, your expungement motion can be denied. Because of technical requirements, expungement is best handled by an attorney who understands the intricacies, & can effectively navigate the court system.
Los Angeles Expungement generally depends on these three issues:
Is My Case Eligible for Expungement?
The first consideration is eligibility. Most "probation" cases in Los Angeles Courts are eligible. State prison cases are not. However, recent changes in California law allow for expungements which were not previously available, including
expansion of expungement law to AB-109 "realignment" felony convictions on a case-by-case basis.
An effective expungement attorney can carefully evaluate your situation, and also determine whether current law (or pending changes) provides a basis for an expungement motion. Your attorney will also evaluate whether you may be suitable to Seal a Criminal Record.
Misdemeanor and Felony violations not otherwise eligible for expungement or "sealing" may still be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Pardon, which should also be handled by an attorney. Thus, there may be more than one way to clean or remove a criminal record.
Am I Still on Probation?
The second consideration for expunging your criminal case is determining whether you are still on court probation, either informal or formal. If you are currently on probation, you are not technically eligible for expungement.
However, there may still be an option to speed up the process.
Your Los Angeles Expungement Attorney can file a formal Penal Code section 1203.3 Motion, requesting Early Termination of Probation.
This motion requires written notice to the court and prosecutor, and needs to include declarations and attachments explaining important reasons you should obtain the benefit of a shorter probation period. The motion will be presented in court, where a judge must determine if there is significant justification to grant the motion. When a judge agrees to shorten the period of probation, this can clear the way to start the expungement process.
Felony or Misdemeanor Expungement?
The third consideration is determining whether you have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor. If you have been convicted of a felony, the process can be more challenging. Some felony crimes cannot be expunged, because of certain legal requirements.
A related question is whether a "Strike" can be expunged. Generally speaking, the answer is yes, if you did not serve a state prison sentence.
An experienced Los Angeles Expungement Lawyer will be familiar with applicable exceptions, and can advise you of all available options.
Most felony charges can be expunged. An expungement of a felony case may also be suitable for filing a Penal Code section 17(b) Motion to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
This is appropriate when the conviction is a "wobbler" which could have been charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.
Once a judge determines suitability of a misdemeanor reduction, the next step will be the Penal Code section 1203.4 Expungement Motion hearing.
At this time, the judge will makes a determination of whether the case is eligible and suitable for expungement.
The timeline for felony & misdemeanor expungements depend on many variables, most importantly, the courtroom assignment. Mr. Caplan discusses issues about this at: How long it takes to expunge a misdemeanor in Los Angeles.
Will Expungement "Clean" My Criminal Record?
Essentially, when an expungement is granted, the judge allows you to withdraw your previously entered guilty or no contest plea (or verdict), and the case is then dismissed. This process provides an opportunity for you to move on in your life without this criminal conviction holding you back. It may also allow you to correct incorrect information which appears in your record, that may otherwise cause you to miss out on a new job or opportunity.
Gregory Caplan can carefully explain to you the specific details and exceptions.
Take charge of your future, today. Call now, and see what Mr. Caplan can do to expunge your criminal case, at 213-400-5355!
Expungement Attorney Los Angeles
Gregory Caplan has helped numerous clients improve their records and move on in their lives, with misdemeanor and felony expungements. You can read a client testimonial at: Expungement/Early Termination of Probation.
While no lawyers can promise or guarantee the outcome or results of any criminal charge, Gregory Caplan works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. Any results depend entirely on the specific facts, law, and circumstances of each case. Here are some recent examples of his cases:
A judge at San Fernando Courthouse granted Mr. Caplan's motion to shorten probation, reduce the case to a misdemeanor (from a felony), and expunge the Client's case pursuant to PC 1203.4, immediately thereafter.
Mr. Caplan convinced the prosecutor and judge at the Burbank Courthouse to terminate probation 2 ½ Years early, and immediately expunge the charges, allowing client to pursue employment opportunities that would not have been otherwise available.
Mr. Caplan is available to help new clients with expungements at the Burbank Courthouse. He is familiar with the local Burbank Court system, and generally meets the City Prosecutor prior to court, to provide compelling information that a client's case should be terminated early and expunged.
Gregory Caplan convinced a judge at the Santa Clarita Courthouse to reduce his client's felony theft conviction to a misdemeanor, and grant a motion to expunge, freeing his client of his felony conviction.
Mr. Caplan convinced a judge and city prosecutor to agree to early termination of probation and expungement 8 ½ months after the conviction was entered, freeing client to explore significant job opportunities. (An attorney familiar with local customs and practices will know if your case can be terminated earlier than scheduled.)
Mr. Caplan filed a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4 to withdraw and dismiss a 20+ year old plea in a forgery case at the Van Nuys Court. The court granted the motion.
Mr. Caplan convinced the courtroom prosecutor and judge to vacate a burglary plea, substitute a non-theft related charge, and agree to termination of probation and expungement upon completion of community labor.
Call now, and see what Mr. Caplan can do to help you move forward with an Expungement in Los Angeles County, at 213-400-5355!