California law has long provided a way to expunge certain criminal convictions for those individuals who are off probation and are not serving a sentence for any other offense. Unfortunately, the California legislature has started to chip away at the right to expunge a criminal record, now providing that qualifying individuals for certain crimes must demonstrate that the expungement is in the interests of justice. In other words, the judges had no choice but to allow expungement in certain qualifying cases, but the judges now have discretion to deny the application. The change primarily affects those individuals who have been convicted of driving related offenses, such as DUI “driving under the influence,” or “wet reckless.” The practical effect of this change is now too early to be seen, but judges in San Diego have long rewarded people with criminal records who can demonstrate rehabilitation. I would think that if an individual needs the expungement for employment, supporting a family, or obtaining a professional or vocational licence, and if all conditions of probation have been completed, San Diego judges will continue to allow expungement for these individuals with qualifying convictions.
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