Many people are not aware of the power that one mistake can have over the rest of their lives. A single arrest or conviction, even if it happened years or decades earlier, can make it difficult to find employment, rent an apartment, acquire a bank loan, attend college or participate in any number of other ordinary activities and pursuits. Fortunately, California law makes it possible for people to have their criminal records sealed or expunged. For most purposes, having a California criminal record cleaned can mean being able to fulfill lifelong dreams such as working in a career that requires a professional license or owning a home.
Both sealing and expungement can only be achieved after a relatively complex legal process. That is why it is necessary to rely upon the services of a Los Angeles expungement attorney. The judge has sole and ultimate discretion when it comes to allowing a record sealing or expungement to move forward. Accordingly, it is advisable to make the best possible presentation to the court. This may mean making complex legal arguments and demonstrating certain factors that might persuade the judge to agree that sealing or expungement is the correct decision. Few people could do this on their own, making a Los Angeles expungement lawyer an indispensable ally.
What Does It Mean to Seal a Criminal Record in California?
It’s not unusual for people to forget that one wild night in college when they got arrested. No charges were filed so an assumption is made that the arrest won’t generate a criminal record. However, most people don’t know that an arrest that did not result in charges being filed can show up on a background check. That’s how one crazy night in college can end up destroying your hopes of working for a certain employer.
People who were arrested but never charged may want to pursue having their criminal record sealed. They are not eligible for an expungement because of the lack of charges and a verdict. However, convictions may be sealed if certain legal conditions are met. Sealing involves the physical destruction and permanent erasure of arrests and convictions. This means that booking photos, fingerprints and any related paperwork will no longer be able to be accessed by anyone, including members of law enforcement.
Sealing Juvenile Records in California
It may be especially important for a young person to have their juvenile record sealed in Los Angeles. This provides them with an opportunity for a fresh start, opening the door to academic and economic opportunities that would otherwise be closed. Thanks to the sealing of juvenile records in California many young people are able to move forward in a productive and respectable manner. If you or your child has a juvenile record in California, contact our criminal defense lawyers about having that record sealed.
Defining Expungement in California
Expungement is a separate legal process that effectively removes a criminal record from public view. Law enforcement personnel typically still have access to view arrests and convictions even if the convictions have been expunged. Nonetheless, petitioning for an expungement in Los Angeles can mean that a person’s conviction will no longer show up on background checks. This means better employment opportunities, increased chances of being approved for a loan and perhaps also getting back the right to vote or own a firearm.
Qualifying for California Expungement
Not every crime is eligible for expungement in California. Moreover, there are other requirements that must be met. A probation case that was heard in the Los Angeles courts is almost always eligible for expungement, but if a crime led to a stint in state prison, then the chances of getting that record expunged are extremely small. Similarly, a person who is still on probation is generally not eligible for expungement. In rare cases, an attorney may be able to petition to terminate probation early, leading to an earlier petition for expungement. People who were convicted of a misdemeanor are more likely to qualify for expungement. Sometimes defense lawyers are able to get a felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged. There are many complex requirements and qualifications that only a capable Los Angeles expungement lawyer can understand and explain. It is best to consult with such an attorney to find out if your criminal record in California can be expunged.
Los Angeles Expungement Attorneys
The process of petitioning for expungement is a complex one. With subtle legal arguments possibly being the key to making a successful motion for expungement it’s important to hire the right attorney for the job. The practitioners at this law firm have extensive experience when it comes to petitioning the court to seal or expunge a criminal record. The efforts they have made on the behalf of previous clients shows that they are relentless in their pursuit of justice. They understand how important it is to have a clean criminal record, and they always pursue the best possible outcome for the clients.
There are no guarantees when it comes to seeking sealing or expungement of California criminal records. However, it is best to trust your case to attorneys who have successfully gotten records sealed or expunged several times in the past. If you would like to know if you are a good candidate for sealing or expungement, contact our firm today. Our qualified Los Angeles expungement lawyers are waiting to serve you.
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