There are several ways to clear your San Diego criminal record. This article addresses: expungement, certificate of rehabilitation, governors pardon, and sealing your arrest record. Call this office for advice on quickly and efficiently clearing your San Diego criminal record.
If you are planning to apply for a professional license, and you have a San Diego arrest record, you should obtain honest, accurate advice on how to clear your record. The State of California may require you to demonstrate rehabilitation before offering a license in many areas of professional life, for example, to obtain a job as a lawyer, doctor, nurse, dentist, dental assistant, contractor, banker, real estate professional, car salesman, beautician, cosmetologist, massage therapist, chiropractor, etc. In fact, almost any professional job requires a State of California professional license. Applications for all of these professions require a response to the question “have you ever been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony conviction?” While you will still be required to disclose the conviction, often, the first step toward obtaining a license is demonstrating rehabilitation generally by obtaining an expungement of your criminal record.
In most cases, a criminal defendant has a right to expungement after completion of probation, pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. The Court must grant you expungement once you have completed probation and fulfilled all the terms and conditions of probation, providing that you are not on probation or parole or have pending any new offense. This means the judge does not have discretion to deny relief. Once probation has been successfully completed, expungement must be granted. The court may not deny this relief on the ground that the probationer failed to pay reimbursement of the costs of probation or court-appointed attorney fees because those cannot be conditions of probation.
The Benefits of Expungement
The most obvious benefit of expungement concerns employment. An expungement of your conviction will allow you to truthfully represent to friends, acquaintances and private sector employers that you have no conviction.
Private employers may not even require an answer to the question of whether you were ever convicted and obtained 1203.4 relief. (See, California Labor Code § 432.7a): “No employer, whether a public agency or private individual or corporation, shall ask an applicant for employment to disclose, through any written form or verbally, information concerning an arrest or detention that did not result in conviction….”)
That being said, the internet is full of information. If your arrest made the news, you can be assured that an employer will find it. Further, anyone can check the court records online. And, 1203.4 does not erase any court records. Your record would simply show that at its conclusion you obtained this relief.
Certificate of Rehabilitation and Governor’s Pardon
A certificate of rehabilitation is the first step toward a pardon by the Governor which will result in the restoring of all civil and political rights of citizenship including but not limited to the right to vote and the right to bear arms.
The process of rehabilitation and pardon is available for those persons who have suffered felony convictions and for those who have suffered convictions for misdemeanor sex offenses requiring registration as sex offender. There are exceptions for other sex offenses and offenses involving firearms.
A certificate of rehabilitation or Governor’s pardon can in some cases relieve the person from the duty to register as a sex offender.
You may contact us for a free consultation to determine whether your criminal conviction qualifies for relief under these provisions.
Sealing Arrest Records
California law allows a process for you to clear your San Diego arrest under circumstances where we can demonstrate that no reasonable cause exists to believe that the arrestee committed the offense for which the arrest was made. We are entitled to present declarations, affidavits, police reports and other evidence to prove your factual innocence to the Court. After your record is ordered sealed, each state and local entity within the State of California shall destroy the records of your arrest.
Contact us for a detailed explanation on how to seal your San Diego arrest record.
Juvenile court records can generally be sealed after the minor turns 18-years old, or 5 or more years after the end of juvenile court jurisdiction. There are some juvenile records that cannot be sealed, depending on the type of offense found to have been committed, and depending on the age of the minor at the time of the offense.