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Your past errors can haunt you for the rest of your life. If you made a mistake that resulted in a criminal conviction, your criminal record can affect your life in several ways. Fortunately, there may be a way to clear your criminal record through the process called an expungement.

As an expungement attorney at Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office, I have handed hundreds of expungements in California. With an office in Oakland, California, I help clients clean up their criminal records in Northern California and throughout the Bay Area, including Alameda County and San Francisco.

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Expungement In California

Under California law, an expungement allows eligible individuals to withdraw a guilty or no-contest plea, re-enter a not-guilty plea, and seek the dismissal of the criminal case. An expungement can release you from many of the negative consequences of a conviction, which are defined as “all penalties and disabilities” under California law.

While an expungement can limit the information that shows up on your background check, getting an expungement does not mean that the conviction is sealed or destroyed. Your charges and arrest records are still there, but the conviction will be set aside and dismissed. One of the most significant benefits of an expungement is that you will not be required to disclose expunged convictions to prospective employers, even after receiving a conditional offer of employment.

Who Is Eligible For An Expungement?

Individuals convicted of both misdemeanors and felonies are eligible for expungement in California if the following is true:

  • the individual has completed probation for the misdemeanor/felony; and
  • the individual was not ordered to serve time in state prison or, if they did serve time in state prison, the time would have been served in the county jail due to “Realignment” under Proposition 47.

If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to get your records expunged, contact an expungement attorney in Oakland, California, to discuss your eligibility.

Who Cannot File For An Expungement In California?

Certain individuals are not eligible for an expungement under California law. In California, you cannot file for expungement if you are:

  • currently charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense;
  • on probation for an offense; or
  • serving a sentence for an offense.

In addition, California law prohibits individuals from being able to expunge their criminal records if they were convicted of certain sex crimes involving children. However, even if you are not eligible due to the reasons stated above, you can still be able to get relief through the commutation of a prison sentence, a governor’s pardon, or a Certificate of Rehabilitation.

What Is The Expungement Process?

The expungement process in California consists of four steps:

  1. Hiring an attorney. Expunging criminal records can be confusing and overwhelming if you have no legal background. In fact, any mistakes made when filling out the forms and filing for an expungement can result in the denial of your case. Your attorney can streamline the expungement process and ensure that you do everything correctly for a successful outcome.
  2. Filling out forms and filing for an expungement. Your attorney will assist you in filling out the proper forms. The forms that need to be submitted may differ depending on the type of your offense. Once you file for an expungement, you must wait for the court’s response, which usually takes up to five months.
  3. Preparing for an expungement hearing. The court may schedule an expungement hearing and require your attendance. Your attorney will explain what to expect at the hearing and help you prepare accordingly to ensure a favorable outcome.
  4. Getting an expungement. Finally, the judge approves the expungement. However, if your request for expungement was denied, you have a right to refile after six months from the date of the denial.

As an experienced and detail-oriented criminal defense attorney in Oakland, California, I can walk you through every step of the process to ensure that your rights are protected.

Expungements Attorney Serving Oakland, California

Get the legal assistance you need if you are considering requesting an expungement. As an expungement attorney at Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office, I can guide you through the process from start to finish and will fight aggressively on every level to have your criminal records expunged. Reach out to my Oakland, California, office to request a consultation and get started.

Image of attorney Darryl A. Stallworth in cta box - Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office

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