Expungement – Conviction Relief
Many crimes in California are strictly charged according to the stringent laws enforced in the state. However, there are occasions when the alleged offender or defendant is wrongly charged. A skilled and experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer like the one at the Law Offices of Thomas P. Matthews may be hired to request for the charge to be expunged so that the name of the defendant would be cleared off the record. This is highly desired by offenders who are charged and convicted by the court as ‘criminals’ with a permanent criminal record that is detrimental to the future of the defendants.
Criminal expungement legal services are available in California by qualified and experienced defense lawyers specializing in criminal cases and expungement. An expungement refers to the legal petitioning process to the court for a review on a criminal conviction that leaves a criminal record on the offender’s history.
An expungement could be accorded by the court as requested by the defense lawyer if:
• The offender has completed the probation successfully without incident
• A year has passed since the court conviction with the punishment enforced
• All fines and restitutions as well as reimbursements have been settled
• The offender is not convicted on another offense
• The offender is not in probation for another offense
The California court could permit the case to be expunged from the defendant’s record which refers to a dismissal of the case from legal records. It is likened to a free man without any traces of guilt or criminal charge imposed on the defendant. The California Penal Code Section 1203.4 on expunged criminal cases allows the defendant to petition to the court for the criminal charge to be dismissed, retracted or withdrawn with the criminal record expunged in all official listings.
This would mean that the court would set aside the guilty verdict from the previous hearing and sentencing. All accusations of the case against the defendant would be dismissed and the defendant would be released from all punishments, sentencing or penalties arising from the offense committed, tried and convicted.
The defendant whose criminal records are expunged could respond to anyone confidently that he/she has never been convicted of a crime. However, Government employers as well as Government Licensing applications have the right to know about the expunged criminal records.
Limitations of an Expunged Outcome
Even though the crime could be expunged by the court, some restrictions are imposed on the defendant.
1) No possession of firearms unless the court revokes this order
2) If similar cases recur, these could be construed as cases with a prior that could inflict heavier punishments
3) Sex offenders with an expunged case would still be subject to the required court imposed duties and registration
An expunged case does not erase the previous criminal records; however, relevant changes and updates are made to reflect the dismissal as per Penal Code Section 1203.4 with different authority departments updating their system. These include:
- The Court file
- The California Department of Justice
- The FBI
Contact Our San Diego Felony Expungement and Conviction Relief Law Firm Now For Free Consultation
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