Everyone makes mistakes. But one mistake does not have to mean the end of the world. If you have been convicted of a criminal violation in Los Angeles County, there are options available to you which may allow you to improve your criminal record. This process, which is accomplished through Penal Code section 1203.4, is often referred to as "expungement," and has been expanded by recent updates in the law.
If an "expungement" of your misdemeanor or felony conviction pursuant to the California Penal Code section 1203.4 is granted, you are no longer considered "convicted" under California law, subject to a few exceptions. Thus, if you are seeking a new job in Los Angeles and obtain an "expungement" of your criminal charges, you would be able to indicate that on a job application that you have never been convicted of a crime, subject to a few exceptions.
While there are some limitations which apply to this process, there can be significant benefits. In some cases, an expungement can provide a chance to clear the way for a more promising future, as you can read at:
Client Review and
You can also read our detailed expungement hypothetical at:
Expungement Los Angeles.
So, how do you begin the Penal Code section 1203.4 "expungement" process? Your first step is to contact an experienced Los Angeles Expungement Attorney to help determine your most effective approaches. Your first step is to contact Gregory Caplan.
Call Mr. Caplan now, at 213-400-5355 to find out how you can take the first step towards improving your record!
How Do I Expunge My Criminal Record?
Below, is a general guide through the Penal Code section 1203.4 expungement motion process. If your are successful with your motion, the benefits are extraordinary. It can clear the way for you to obtain employment, housing, and most importantly, peace of mind.
There are precise requirements which must be adhered to when you are seeking to expunge your criminal record. If you proceed without an attorney, and make a mistake during the process, your expungement motion can be denied. Because of technical requirements, the expungement process in Los Angeles is best handled by the attorney who understands the intricacies of the process, who can efficiently and effectively navigate the court system.
The process of your Los Angeles Expungement will likely depends on these three issues:
Is My Case Eligible for Expungement?
The first consideration is eligibility. Most cases in Los Angeles Courts are eligible for the expungement process. A few charges are not eligible for expungement, including certain sex offense felony violations in the Penal Code. However, recent changes in California law now allow for expungments which were not available in years past. An effective expungement attorney can carefully evaluate your situation, and also determine whether these changes in the law now allow for an expungement motion pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. Misdemeanor and Felony violations not otherwise eligible for this motion may still be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon, which should also be handled by a skilled attorney. A discussion of eligible cases can be explored on our blog.
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. A person on probation is not eligible to have a case expunged in Los Angeles. However, if you are on probation and want to expunge your criminal case, there are still options which may 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 contains declarations and attachments explaining why you should obtain the benefit of a shorter probation period. The motion is then 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 begin an expungement.
Do I Need to Expunge a Felony or a Misdemeanor Record?
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. An experienced Los Angeles Expungement Attorney will be familiar with these limited exceptions, and can advise you of other options available for these charges.
Many felony charges, however, can be expunged. An expungement of a felony case oftentimes involves first filing a Penal Code section 17(b) Motion to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction. This motion is appropriate when the conviction is a "wobbler," and could have been charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. When a judge agrees to a reduction of the violation, the next step is the Penal Code section 1203.4 Motion, commonly referred to as an Expungement Motion. The motion will ultimately be evaluated by a judge, who makes the determination of whether the case is eligible and suitable for expungement.
How will an Expungement Clear My Criminal Record?
Essentially, when you have a case expunged, the court allows your previously entered guilty or no contest plea (or verdict) to be withdrawn, 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. Gregory Caplan can carefully explain to you the specific details and exceptions of this process.
Take charge of your future, today. Call Gregory Caplan, now, and see what he can do to help you expunge your criminal case, at 213-400-5355!
Expungement Attorney Los Angeles
Los Angeles Expungement Lawyer Gregory Caplan has helped numerous clients improve their records and move on in their lives, with misdemeanor and felony expungements.
While no attorney can promise or guarantee the outcome or results of any criminal charge, Gregory Caplan works tirelessly in 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 2009-2013 cases:
March 29, 2013, 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 the 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 to them that a client's case should be terminated early and expunged.
Gregory Caplan convinced the 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 record.
Mr. Caplan convinced a Los Angeles Superior Court 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.
As a San Fernando Valley Criminal Defense Attorney, Mr. Caplan convinced the courtroom prosecutor and LASC 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 find out what Gregory Caplan can do to help you move forward from your criminal charges and arrest with an Expungement in Los Angeles County, at 213-400-5355!
You can read additional discussions at: San Fernando Valley Expungement Attorney, as well as a related "top 10" list at
Burbank Expungement Attorney.