In order to clear criminal convictions from one’s record, it is necessary to go through the Glendale expungement process. It used to be easier to have a criminal conviction expunged, but now courts and legislators prefer that convictions remain on a person’s permanent criminal record. As a result, anyone considering an expungement motion should first consult with an experienced Glendale criminal defense lawyer.
As it currently stands, once someone has successfully completed probation on his or her case, he or she can file a motion with the court that imposed the sentence asking the court to retroactively dismiss the case. This motion is made under California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC and it is often the case that the Court will want to have a hearing to determine whether the motion should be granted. In many cases, the prosecutor’s office will oppose the defendant’s motion. The hearing may require the introduction of evidence or the presentation of testimony, and if the defendant is not familiar with court procedure or the Rules of Evidence he or she would be at a major disadvantage.
If the defendant wins the motion under California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC, the original guilty verdict or plea will be set aside. Relief under Section 1203.4 is only available where prison was not assessed as a penalty. In addition, certain offenses, such as sex crimes, are specifically barred from relief under the statute. If the petitioner is successful in having his expungement motion granted, the underlying conviction will not be completely removed from the record. For driving under the influence offenses in Glendale, earlier DUI convictions could still be used to enhance future DUI cases even if they have been expunged.
Someone who has had a prior conviction expunged from their criminal record may still be required to inform licensing agencies about the prior conviction when asked. In addition, the expungement may not lift a firearm restriction that was imposed as a result of the original conviction. For felony convictions, an expungement can be granted if the offense has first been reduced to a misdemeanor offense. This requires a separate motion and applies only to offenses that are considered “wobblers” under the law. If the defendant’s conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor, then the case could be expunged following a proper motion under California Penal Code Section 1203.4.
Having old criminal convictions expunged is highly advisable. As criminal background checks have become widely available, employers, landlords, and others have increasingly relied on these services when screening potential employees and applicants. A single misdemeanor offense from many years ago can effectively prohibit a person from being seriously considered for certain jobs, loans or housing.
There may be situations in which the defendant is still on probation to the court but there is an immediate need to have the probation terminated and the conviction expunged. In these cases, it would be necessary to first file a motion to terminate probation pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.3 PC. If this is granted, the defendant could then make the California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC motion to expunge the conviction. Judges are usually very hesitant to terminate probation early, and prosecutors usually universally oppose such motions. For this motion to even be considered, the defendant must have completed all of the probationary terms and would also need an extremely compelling argument for why probation should be terminated early. In these situations, having an experienced Glendale criminal defense lawyer who can show why the early expungement must be granted is absolutely critical.
Expungement motions can only retroactively dismiss the original conviction. If the defendant wants to have the arrest expunged, he or she would have to file a separate motion to permanently seal the arrest record. This would require a motion filed pursuant to California Penal Code Section 851.8 PC. Having an arrest record sealed is significantly more difficult than having a conviction expunged, as the standard the defendant would have to prove is much higher. Anyone considering any of these motions should first discuss the different standards and burdens of proof with a qualified Glendale criminal defense attorney.
If you need to remove convictions from your criminal record, it is crucial that you discuss your options with a Glendale Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately. Glendale Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who has helped his clients in getting their criminal convictions expunged. Mr. Kraut is highly respected by the judges and prosecutors in Glendale and works hard to help his clients clear their criminal records.
For more information about Glendale expungements, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Glendale Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 450 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 600, Glendale, CA 91203. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 818-507-9123.