Cleaning Up Your Record
Put the past behind you
What’s on your record and what appears in a background check can have a significant impact on your ability to get a job, get into school, rent an apartment, qualify for a loan and move on with your life. Our firm has the necessary experience to give you the best chance of successfully reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, expunging a misdemeanor or felony from your record, and sealing your arrest or juvenile record.
Expunging- You can expunge a misdemeanor or felony from your record. When you expunge a charge from your record, it is not completely removed. However, an entry will be added to your Department of Justice record which states the charges were dismissed per Penal Code 1203.4. This process can be vital for passing background checks for jobs, school, rentals and loans.
Reductions- A reduction or felony reduction is the process that will reduce a felony on your record to a misdemeanor. This is extremely important as felony convictions can have a lasting impact on your life. Reducing a felony to a misdemeanor is done using Penal Code 17 (b). It allows “wobblers”, meaning crimes that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, to be reduced to the misdemeanor using a Judge’s discretion. Subsequently, the misdemeanor can be expunged.
Prop 47- A number of crimes that were once felonies have been reclassified as misdemeanors. If you were convicted of one of these crimes, you can have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor. You must still file the necessary motion and we had experience getting these motions granted with as little delay as possible.
Sealing Records- If you have a juvenile record, you can get certain charges sealed. Once your juvenile record is sealed, it cannot be looked into for background checks, and in some cases, it cannot be used to allege a prior offense if you are arrested and charged as an adult. It is very important that you seal your juvenile record as soon as you turn 18.
Sealing arrests for adults is a much more difficult process. There are two statutes that apply. First is Penal Code Section 851.8. To seal your records under this statute, you must wait 24 months from the date of the incident and prove factual innocence, which is difficult to do. However, a new statute was passed in 2018, Penal Code Section 851.91. It only requires you to wait the statute of limitations time for the crime and will be granted as a matter of law:
The arrest must have occurred in the State of California;
No conviction must have come from the arrest;
Any and all crimes are barred by the Statute of Limitations such that the prosecuting attorney is legally barred from instituting any criminal action based upon the arrest; (12 months for a misdemeanor and 36 months for a felony arrest):
charges were filed but the case was dismissed by the prosecutor;
the person arrested was acquitted of all charges;
a conviction did occur which was reversed on Appeal.
Exceptions to the General Requirements:
The Statute of Limitations has not yet run;
The charge is a violation of California Penal Code section 187 - Murder unless that person has been found factually innocent or acquitted of the charges;
The defendant evaded law enforcement which prevented an arrest;
The defendant evaded law enforcement which prevented an arrest by identity fraud and was later prosecuted for that act of identity fraud.
We know how to make the best arguments to give you the highest possible chance of getting your motion granted.
We will help you put your past behind you so you can move on with your life.