California Criminal Expungements

The Internet (age) has changed a lot in our society – much for the better, but some for the worse as well.  Principally, it has changed the way we interact with one another, namely as it concerns the information that we can find out about each other.  Information regarding a persons’ criminal history could be accessed more easily than in the past by law enforcement as well as prospective and current employers.  Conducting background checks has become routine.  Conducting them helps employers to ascertain whether certain individuals pose a threat either to current employees because of a violent, criminal past or because they may have had convictions involving fraud or theft – crimes that could affect employer trust in an employee if working in a bank, for example.  The relatively new ease with which employers can find out criminal background history is stunning and potentially devastating for a person who has paid his or her debt to society and ought to be able to make a good faith effort to change for the better and contribute to society.  But, this is often hard when one’s business seems as if it is out for all or many to see and learn.  It can prohibit former convicts from moving on, which can translate into higher costs for tax payers to incur while supporting social services that accommodate such people or it can translate into criminal recidivism.  Neither option is palatable for you or for other Californians.  Therefore, a solution that can potentially benefit all involved may very well be needed.

Such a solution could be an expungement.  An expungement can aid first time offenders with reclaiming their lives by having their criminal records cleared.  While it is universally accepted that individuals should “pay for their crimes,” it is also accepted that punishments ought to be proportionate.  That is part of justice.  Accordingly, one of our attorneys can you with the expungement process.  But first, to be clear, let’s explain what expungement is.  Expungement, is a legal process in which a person may be granted an “erasure” of a particular conviction.  Misdemeanors, felonies, even juvenile records may be expunged.  However, the process is complicated and not everyone is deserving of an expungement.  Also, expungement should not be confused with a pardon, which does not erase the conviction, so to speak, but grants forgiveness for one’s crime.

It should also be noted that expungement is a onetime deal, and it is reserved only for special cases – the most deserving.  Therefore, it should be clear that not everyone qualifies for this.  In order to see if you do qualify, please call our office for an initial consultation.