Expungement is the legal process of having a conviction or a legal record of an arrest removed from one’s criminal record. The expungement of is authorized by Criminal Records Act, 1988. The basic principle of the statute is to give a convicted person a new chance to live his/her life without being haunted by the unfavorable past conditions. A person’s conviction or arrest record must meet certain standards in order to qualify for expungement. The key factors promoting the expungement process depend on the nature of the crime or charge, one’s criminal history, the time period of conviction or arrest, etc. After the expungement process is successfully completed, a person has the right not to disclose his/her arrest or criminal conviction.
Benefits of Getting an Expungement
- Perhaps the most obvious benefit of getting an expungement is obtaining a better employment opportunity. Having a previous criminal record or arrest can have an unfavorable effect on your further career success. Almost every employer checks a job applicant’s background before hiring, and if he/she reveals records of arrest, it can be a ground for not accepting you for the position. An expungement will also be helpful in getting a job promotion or keeping your current position. So, getting an expungement will clear your conviction or arrest records and even enable you not to disclose your conviction or arrest record to an employer.
- Clearing your criminal records through expungement will be beneficial for finding an apartment as well. Similar to employers, landlords usually do background research of a potential lessee before giving the apartment for rent. Having previous conviction or a legal record of an arrest can significantly lower your chances of getting your desired apartment for rent. At best, the landlord will charge a higher rent or require a bigger deposit.
- Getting a loan can be merely impossible for a person with previous criminal or arrest records. Loan agencies or banks tend to believe that someone with arrest or conviction history is less likely to fulfill his/her financial obligations. Being rejected for a loan can complicate the process of buying a car or a home in its turn. Thus, an expungement will make it easier for you to solve your financial issues and avoid many problems.
Expungement Process in California
The availability and requirements for getting your arrest or conviction expunged vary from state to state where the arrest or conviction happened. Some states, like New York, do not have an expungement for criminal convictions at all. To the contrary, laws of California allow a person with an arrest or criminal conviction clean their slate through expungement.
To qualify for an expungement in California, one must meet the following requirements:
- Not to serve probation currently
- Not to be charged with another crime
- The crime you committed is a misdemeanor or a felony that can be charged as a misdemeanor
In California, a felony charge that resulted in prison arrest cannot be qualified for expungement. Likewise, sexual assault against a minor or serious vehicle code violation are not on the list of crimes to go through expungement process.
To be granted an expungement, a person or most preferably, his/her attorney must file a petition and submit the necessary paperwork to criminal court. Filing a petition for an expungement usually costs from $100-$400 in California. For more complex cases the amount will be higher.
Going through an expungement can be really tough and complicated process. It requires a lot of legal paperwork that is to be filled out correctly and signed by the judge. Despite the complexity of the process, an expungement is an effective way to open doors for new opportunities. An experienced expungement attorney can help you successfully complete the process and get your records expunged properly.
The experienced and skillful attorneys at the Margarian Law firm have a deep and thorough knowledge of California expungement law. They will put all their skills and knowledge into practice to clean your slate. They will fight for your rights of having an opportunity for a better life without letting the past shadow your future.