Felony Expungement is Often Possible with the Help of an Experienced Attorney
For many people, having a felony conviction on their record limits their future options when it comes to jobs, in addition to possibly limiting their civil rights. A single mistake made can drastically change the future potential when someone has been labeled a convicted felon. For this reason, many people seek to expunge records in California.
The Law Offices of Grant Bettencourt have helped many clients get their records expunged. If you need help, fill out the form online or call (925) 788-7178 for a consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Expunging a Felony Makes Getting a Job Easier
Expunging a felony prevents potential employers from turning an applicant away due to their criminal history. It also allows many to regain occupational licenses that were lost due to the conviction. For immigrants, it may stop deportation procedures or prevent denial of naturalization. Other benefits include the ability to apply for financial aid for college and other opportunities for government assistance.
While California does not allow for felony expungement directly, an experienced attorney will know how to expunge a felony under California law through having the charges dismissed. This is typically possible when the felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor because it was a wobbler — an offense that could be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Restore Your Civil Rights
Even without record expungement, this legal tactic typically restores most of the civil rights stripped from the individual due to the felony conviction. Once the misdemeanor charges are dismissed, it can no longer be considered during hiring decisions or other application processes.
The requirements to have a record expunged include being convicted of an infraction, misdemeanor or felony and having completed the sentence for the crime. This could include serving time in county jail, probation and/or paying a fine.
Not Everyone is Eligible
Those who served time in state prison or who were under the authority of California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will not be eligible for dismissal. The dismissal will also be denied if the conviction was for a sex crime with a minor victim, or some offenses as outlined in the California Vehicle Code. People who are currently facing charges or on probation for another crime are also ineligible.
The Expungement Process
There is no set timeline for expungement after being convicted of a felony. Attorneys who are familiar with the process can often request that their clients be released early from probation, and then have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor before the full term of probation has elapsed.
This allows for dismissal of the charges almost as soon as the other terms of the sentence, such as community service or fines, are met. Of course, if a client sentenced to county jail time or probation has already completed these terms, the petition to have the felony charge reduced and to have the conviction dismissed can be filed immediately.
While those who have served time in a state prison are not eligible for record expungement in California, there is another option. An attorney can often request a Certification of Rehabilitation as a first step toward clearing the client’s criminal record. This court order declares that the person has been rehabilitated. After this order is approved, requesting a pardon from the governor is possible. While this does not fully expunge the record, it may be useful when it comes to getting hired.
Find Out if You Qualify by Contacting Us Now
As a criminal defense attorney, Grant Bettencourt often has clients who wonder how to expunge a felony from their criminal records. He’s helped many people through this process, allowing them to obtain better jobs, and regain gun ownership rights and other benefits. Call The Law Offices of Grant Bettencourt at (925) 788-7178 to learn how you can begin the process of expunging a felony today.