The recent passage of California Clean Slate Act AB 1076, California’s new criminal record relief law, has made it easier than ever to clear your arrest and conviction record. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney immediately to clear your criminal record in 2020 and 2021.
Clearing Your California Criminal Record
There are several ways to clear your criminal record in San Diego and the state of California which include expungement, certificate of rehabilitation to qualify for governor’s pardon, and sealing your arrest record. Domenic J. Lombardo, a San Diego criminal defense lawyer, has extensive experience in clearing San Diego criminal records, including San Diego arrest records, as well as criminal records in the state of California. For help with a criminal record, contact Mr. Lombardo at any time, every day of the year to determine whether your criminal conviction qualifies for relief under the available provisions.
If you are planning to apply for a professional license, and you have a criminal record, you should obtain honest, accurate advice from a reputable attorney 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 professional licenses require a response to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony?” While you will still be required to disclose the misdemeanor or felony conviction, the first step toward obtaining a license is often 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 California 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 any new offense pending. 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 grounds 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 Section 1203.4 relief. Under California Labor Code Section 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, Section 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 restoration 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 gubernatorial 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 a 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.
Sealing Arrest Records
California law allows for a process for you to seal your arrest record under circumstances where it can be demonstrated that no reasonable cause exists to believe that the arrestee committed the offense for which the arrest was made. Your attorney is 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 a criminal record attorney for a detailed explanation on how to seal your 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.
Arrest Record and Conviction Relief in San Diego
California has a variety of statutory mechanisms for arrest record and conviction relief. While several of the most common approaches are described above, the following more complete list of California Penal Code provisions providing for public record relief comprises the main avenues for clearing a San Diego criminal record:
- Dismissal of charges and set-aside – probation imposed – PC1203.4
- Dismissal of charges and set-aside – no probation imposed – PC 1203.4a
- Dismissal of charges and set-aside – PC 1170(h) sentence – PC1203.41
- Dismissal of charges and set-aside – PC 1170(h) sentence (retroactive) PC1203.42
- Dismissal following a Diversion Program (Post-1997) – PC1203.43
- Deferred entry of Judgement after 1/1/1997 – PC 1203.43
- Record sealing – trafficking victim – PC 236.14
- Restoration remedy for veterans – PC 1170.9 certificate describing arrest as detention – PC 851.6
- Record sealing – juvenile misdemeanor arrest – PC 851.7
- Record sealing and destruction following arrest – factual innocence – PC851.8
- Record sealing following acquittal – factual innocence – PC851.85
- Record sealing following conviction – factual innocence – PC 851.86
- Record sealing following non-drug DEJ – PC851.87
- Record sealing following dismissal – PC 851.90
- Record sealing non-conviction records – PC851.91
- Dismissal following a Drug Diversion Program – PC 1000-1001.88
- Deferred Entry of Judgment Reentry Program – PC1000.8-1000.10
- Deferred Entry of Judgement Child Abuse and Neglect Counseling – PC1000.12-1000.17
- Misdemeanor Diversion – 1001-1001.9
- Diversion of Defendants with Cognitive Developmental Disabilities – PC1001.20-1001.34
- Diversion of Individuals with Mental Disorders – PC1001.35-1001.36
- Pretrial Diversion of Traffic Violators- PC1001.40
- Diversion of Misdemeanor Offenders – PC1001.50-1001.55
- Bad Check Diversion – PC1001.60-1001.67
- Parental Diversion – PC1001.70-1001.75
- Military Diversion Program – PC1001.80
- Repeat Theft Crimes Diversion or Deferred Entry of Judgment Program – PC1001.81-1001.82
- Primary Caregiver Diversion – PC1001.83
- Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Pilot Program- PC1001.85-1001.88
- Record sealing and registration following identity theft- PC 530.6/530.7
- Certificate of Rehabilitation / Governor’s Pardon – PC4852.01, et.seq.
For more details on each law, visit https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/home.xhtml.
More About Clearing a Criminal Record in California
For more information about clearing a criminal record in San Diego and elsewhere in California, the following related resources are available:
- Clean Slate Act AB 1076: California’s New Criminal Record Relief Law
- Your Criminal Record in California
- Dismissing a Criminal Conviction in California to Clear Your Record
Get Help from an Experienced San Diego Criminal Record Attorney
To quickly and efficiently clear your criminal record, contact Domenic J. Lombardo, an experienced San Diego criminal record attorney. Call Mr. Lombardo for a free and confidential consultation in San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Lemon Grove, National City, Imperial Beach, San Ysidro, El Cajon, La Mesa, Poway, Santee, Escondido, San Marcos, Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, Fallbrook, Spring Valley and throughout San Diego County.