Expungement Attorney San Diego
San Diego, California Criminal Record Expungement
The experienced San Diego expungement lawyer at the law firm of George H. Ramos, Jr. offers clients criminal expungement services in San Diego and surrounding Southern California counties.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement is a legal process that petitions the Court to review a conviction to determine:
- If probation was successfully completed, or, if no probation was granted, a year has passed since the conviction;
- That all fines, restitution and reimbursement ordered by the court has been paid;
- That the petitioner is not now on probation for another offense;
- That the petitioner has no new pending cases.
The Court then allows the petitioner to withdraw their plea or finding of guilt, and orders the case dismissed.
How does this help me?
Expungement law (Penal Code Section 1203.4) provides in part:
“[Petitioner shall]…be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided…” (Emphasis added)
What about applying for jobs?
If Private Employers ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can respond with “NO.”
On questions by Government Employers or Government Licensing Applications if you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you must disclose the expunged case. However, you should disclose that the conviction has been expunged in the “explanation/further details” section on the application.
What doesn’t an Expungement do?
- You will not be allowed to own or possess a firearm until you would otherwise be able to do so.
- Your dismissed conviction can still be used to increase your punishment in future criminal cases, if the offense is “priorable”- such as a DUI or theft offense.
- An expungement will not relieve you of your duty to register as a sex offender.
Does this erase all records and destroy the Court file?
No. An expungement changes and updates the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under 1203.4 of the Penal Code. This means the Court file, the California Department of Justice, and the FBI update their files to show the case has been ordered dismissed by the Court.
Will I need to go to Court?
No. Our San Diego defense lawyer can usually handle all Court appearances for you.
How Long Does An Expungement Take?
Misdemeanors: Most expungements for misdemeanors take between 4 to 6weeks to complete from the time the application is filed. This does not include the time needed to research all records and process the application. The more prepared you are as to the information needed (dates, charges, court location, etc.) the quicker the application can be processed. If it is necessary to search the court records for information, it may take additional time.
Felony Expungements And Felony Reductions To Misdemeanors: Most expungements of felony convictions generally take 6 to 8 weeks to complete from the time the application is filed. Some felonies that cannot be expunged can be reduced to misdemeanors; this process also takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Again, this is based upon receipt of all of the pertinent information by our office. A court search of records for information will take significantly longer.
Sealing Of Juvenile Records: The average time required to have the records of a juvenile sealed, depending upon information received and court location, is 4 to 6 weeks.
Why Expunge my record? Why spend the money?
There are a number of reasons to do so such as employment or licensing. However, at least half our clients want to expunge their record as final “closure” on an old mistake – just for peace of mind. If you want a charge off your record, our San Diego expungement lawyer may be able to help.
If you have questions regarding expungements, contact us today for a free consultation. We speak both English and Spanish. We are available to take appointments days, evenings, and weekends. We accept all major credit cards.