If you are convicted of a crime, it may limit you professionally and personally for the rest of your life. In some cases, however, you may be able to alleviate the consequences through an expungement. If you were previously convicted of a crime, it may be helpful to speak with a knowledgeable Riverside County expungement lawyer to discuss whether you may be able to pursue an expungement. Shaffer T. Cormell is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has been helping people convicted of crimes seek expungements for more than 20 years. Mr. Cormell can analyze the facts surrounding your underlying conviction and discuss with you whether you may be a candidate for an expungement. Mr. Cormell helps residents of Blythe, Banning, Riverside, Murrieta, Indio, Palm Springs, Coachella, Joshua Tree, Hemet, San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Victorville, Barstow, Brawley, El Centro, Winterhaven, and other cities throughout Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial Counties.Who is Eligible to Obtain an Expungement
California Penal Code 1203.4 allows people convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to seek what is commonly known as an expungement in certain circumstances. Expungements under 1203.4 are available to people convicted of a crime and sentenced to probation. A person will only be granted an expungement if he or she is not currently on probation or serving a sentence for any other crime, or charged with any crime. Additionally, a person seeking an expungement must show that he or she successfully completed probation.
If a person was convicted of a misdemeanor but was denied probation, the person may be eligible for an expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4a if he or she can show that a year has passed since his or her conviction. Similar to an expungement under 1203.4, the person must show that he or she is not currently serving a sentence for a crime, on probation following a conviction, or charged with a crime. The person must also show that he or she fully complied with the terms of the sentence. An expungement attorney can advise Riverside County residents on whether they likely meet these requirements.
In most cases, a person who served time in a California state prison will not be eligible for expungement, but there are exceptions. Additionally, certain crimes, such as those involving sex crimes committed against a child, cannot be expunged.Effect of an Expungement Under California Law
In California, once an expungement is granted, the judge will set aside a defendant's guilty or no contest plea or conviction, enter a not guilty plea, and dismiss the case. Following an expungement, in most cases, a person can legally answer that he or she was not convicted of a crime on a job application. There are exceptions, however, such as an application for a position with the state lottery commission, or for a position as a peace officer. Additionally, you must disclose your conviction if you apply for any state-issued license.
While there are clear benefits to obtaining an expungement, it is important to understand that it does not seal your criminal record or remove all evidence of the alleged crime. A Riverside County expungement attorney can explain this distinction further, but generally your criminal record will remain publicly accessible even after your expungement, unless the record is sealed. Furthermore, even if your conviction has been expunged, it may still be considered a prior conviction if you are charged with a subsequent crime, which can result in an increased penalty if you are convicted of the second charge. If you were prohibited from owning or using a firearm after your conviction, an expungement will not restore your right to own or use a firearm. Additionally, an expungement alone will not relieve a person convicted of a sex crime of the obligation to register as a sex offender. If you have a past conviction, a skillful criminal defense attorney can explain the benefits and limitations of an expungement.Explore Your Options With a Knowledgeable Criminal Attorney
Criminal convictions in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Imperial County can affect a person’s life for years after they serve any penalties. If you were convicted of a crime, you should investigate whether you may be eligible to obtain an expungement, which can help you resume your life prior to your conviction. Shaffer T. Cormell is a seasoned expungement lawyer in Riverside County with the knowledge and experience needed to help you navigate the procedural aspects of seeking an expungement. Get in touch with Mr. Cormell at (888) 922-5051 or through the online form.