California Proposition 64 Marijuana Expungement FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our California Proposition 64 Marijuana Expungement service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.



What will show up when someone does a background check after my California record is expunged or reduced under Proposition 64?

What appears on a background check depends on the type of background check that is performed.  If your case is expunged and the employer does a standard commercial background check, the chances are the conviction and the case will not appear on the background check. If your case is reduced to a misdemeanor, it may still appear, but will appear as a misdemeanor level offense rather than felony. If your conviction is reduced to an infraction, it will likely not appear on a background check because most checks only look for misdemeanor and felony convictions.

If the employer requires you to submit fingerprints for a CA Department of Justice report, the offense should not appear if your case was expunged under Prop 64. If your case was reduced, the report will show that there was a case, but that your case is now the new level of offense (misdemeanor or infraction).

If what shows up on your background check is important to you, you will want to consider two additional services that we offer.

Our Background Check Removal service will remove your information from 30 background check companies, including some the most well known companies, like BeenVerfied.com. This service takes about 30 days, and we can remove your information even if your record has not been expunged or cleared by the court. You can read more about this service by clicking here.

Expedited Record Clearance Update is an essential step to take after your record is expunged if you are concerned about what appears on commercial background checks (the kind used by most non-government employers). Courts do not notify background check companies that a record has been expunged or sealed. We will take the steps necessary to have your expunged record removed from more than 600 background check providers within 14 days. You can read more about this service by clicking here

Back to top

Can my expunged criminal record still be used against me?

Offenses expunged under Proposition 64 are deemed legally invalid, as though they never occurred. Offenses reduced under Proposition 64 are treated as the new lower level of offense for all purposes.

Back to top

Do I ever have to disclose my California Proposition 64 Expungement?

No. When you are granted an expungement under Proposition 64, the conviction is dismissed and record sealed. (PC 11361.8(e))

If your case is reduced, you must still disclose the case, but can disclose it as the newly reduced lower-level offense. If you received probation and are not eligible for Prop 64 expungement, you may be eligible to expunge your conviction under PC 1203.4. Please take our online eligibility test or call our office to determine all the relief available to you.

Back to top

Can I become a schoolteacher, nurse, or other occupation after my record is expunged under Prop 64 in CA?

You can legally say you were not convicted because the conviction is dismissed, and it should not show on your background checks because it is also ordered sealed.

Furthermore, California Labor Code section 432.7 prohibits an employer from asking an applicant for employment to disclose information concerning an arrest that did not result in a conviction.

If your case is reduced under Prop 64, you must still disclose the case, but can disclose it as the newly reduced lower-level offense.

Back to top

Can I become a police officer after a CA expungement?

Possession of good moral character is one of the standards of being a police office. Cal. Govt. Code § 1031(d). A thorough background check will be conducted to determine if you meet the minimum standard. Any act from your past discovered during the background check that reflects poorly on your moral character, including a misdemeanor conviction, may be grounds for a determination that you lack good moral character and may result in denial of employment as a police officer. (CA POST Reg. § 1953, (a),(e)). Expungement or Reduction under Prop 64 of your marijuana conviction will help your chances of proving good moral character and getting hired.

According to California Government Code section 1029, a person convicted of a felony is disqualified from being a police officer. (Cal. Gov. Code § 1029). This is true whether or not the felony conviction has been expunged. (Adams v. County of Sacramento, 235 Cal. App. 3d 872 (1991)). The disqualification may be removed only if the conviction occurred on or before January 1, 2004 and it has been reduced to a misdemeanor under California Penal Code section 17(b). (Cal. Gov. Code § 1029(a)(3))

Back to top

Can I work at a bank after my record is expunged?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Act Section 19 allows banks to bar individuals that have had “Breach of Trust” or "Dishonesty" conviction from positions that they would otherwise be qualified for. This prohibition applied even if the conviction has been expunged. A conviction is unlikely to be considered a breach of trust or crime of dishonesty.

Whether a crime involves dishonesty or breach of trust will be determined from the elements of the crime itself as defined in the statute. If you think you may have been were denied a position or were terminated from a bank because of one of a “breach of trust” or "dishonesty" conviction, then you may be able seek a waiver from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It is important to speak with an attorney about your specific circumstances to see if you would qualify for such a waiver, which would allow you to hold a job with a bank or other financial institution.

Back to top

Do I need to hire an attorney to get a California Proposition 64 Expungement or Reduction?

Hiring an attorney is always in your best interest. Your attorney will (1) make sure the process is done correctly the first time to have the highest chance of success and prevent unnecessary delays, (2) handle objections from the District Attorney, (3) attend court proceedings to argue the case if necessary, and (4) write letters to potential employers notifying them that the case has been reopened and that you will soon have the conviction off your record.

Back to top

Do I have to go to court to have my California case expunged or reduced?

No, if a hearing is necessary we have a licensed attorney appear in court on your behalf. If the court does request your presence at the hearing and you cannot attend, then we will seek to have the court excuse your appearance.

Back to top

How does the RecordGone.com attorney know the details of my case?

Once you sign up, we have you fill out a questionnaire on your personal online account. The questionnaire asks for information that may influence the outcome of the case and allows us to argue to the judge why you are eligible and the expungement should be granted. Although some of the questions may seem simple, we will be better able to argue your case if you provide more information and detail in your answers.

Back to top

How long does the expungement process take?

Typically, most California expungement cases take about two to four months depending on the specific court. However, in some cases we can get a hearing date in 30 days.

The length of each case can vary depending on: the circumstances surrounding the case, whether the District Attorney objects, and how long ago your case was. Cases with probation violations, reductions, or are pre-1990 typically take longer.

If you want your record removed immediately from some of the background check companies, our Background Check Removal service can remove it from 30 companies in about 30 days, and it does not require that your record be expunged, so we can start today. You can read more about it here.

Back to top

Can the expungement/reduction process be done faster?

The courts handle cases in the order they are received. The sooner you sign up, the sooner your petition can be filed and the expungement granted. As your case is processed, we can write a letter for you to give to your employer or potential employer letting them know we are in the process of having your CA case dismissed/sealed/reduced.

If your conviction is in Orange County, Santa Clara County, or Fresno County, there is a faster process that we can complete through the court to file the petition. We charge an expediting fee for that service, which will shorten the process. If your case is not in any of the counties listed above and you would like to have your service completed sooner, then we can assign more staff to your case to get it completed a few weeks faster for an additional fee.

There are two additional things we can do to expedite the process of clearing your record.

First, we can start right now on removing your record from 30 popular background check companies, including BeenVerified.com. We can clear these databases, even without an expungement, in about 45 days. You can read more about it here.

Also, we can expedite the updating of commercial background check companies (the kinds used by most non-government employers). Our Expedited Criminal Record Update is an essential step that gets your expunged or sealed record cleared from 600 background check companies within 14 days, instead of the several months or years it can take for them to update their records on their own. This service begins after the judge has granted your expungement or reduction.

Back to top

How do I know what is going on with my case?

We have an online tracking system for you to stay updated on the progress of your case(s). You will have a user name and password to access your account where you can view all of the information specific to your case. Whenever anything happens in your case, we post notes in your online account so that you can view the status of the case and the progress that has been made.

If there are no notes in your online account, then that means there is currently no update on the case. For example, once we have filed the petition with the court, we will update the notes when we hear a response from the court or District Attorney. Depending on the case, it can take several weeks or even months to hear from the court or District Attorney regarding the next step. If something is taking longer than usual for the court, we will call to obtain the status of the case and update your online notes. In addition to posting the status updates in your online account, we will post your case information so you are aware of the case and future hearings.

Moreover, we post your contract and payment plan information on the online account for you so that you can view all the information and print the necessary content.

Back to top

Does it matter if the disposition of my case is guilty or no contest?

No, the disposition of your case does not matter. We can expunge or reduce your marijuana conviction regardless of whether you pled guilty or no contest.

Back to top

Do you have payment plans?

Yes, we offer flexible payment plans to meet your needs. Please review the pricing section for details regarding the payment plan.

Back to top

What if I don’t know exactly what is on my record?

We can help you get a copy of your record and review your entire record to determine what your options are. We charge a researching fee and we apply that to the cost of any service that you hire us to perform.

Back to top

I have more than one case in California, can I expunge/reduce them all?

The eligibility of each case must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, expungement or reduction petitions in California have to be filed individually for each case number. Because of that, we charge per case (but regardless of the number of counts or offenses in each case); however, we do offer a discount for signing up for more than one case with us.

Back to top

Does a Prop 64 Expungement seal the entire case?

Maybe. If all the offenses in your case are eligible and are granted a Prop 64 expungement, those charges are dismissed the judgment and seals them. If asked, you can deny the existence of the arrest or court case. However, if your case involves other offenses that are not eligible for Prop 64 Expungement, those offenses will continue to appear on your record.

If your offense was reduced, you can state for all purposes that you were convicted of the lower level reduced offense.

Back to top

If my case was already expunged, can I reduce the felony to a misdemeanor or have my offense expunged under the new Prop 64?

Yes! The new Prop 64 Expungement or Reduction can be done even if you’ve previously received an expungement under 1203.4.

Back to top

What is the main reason a Prop 64 Expungement or Reduction would be denied in CA?

Most of denials for expungements reductions under Prop 64 will occur because the court concludes that the defendant possessed or grew more marijuana that is allowed under the new law.

Back to top

What if my Prop 64 expungement or reduction case is denied? Can I appeal?

If the court denies your expungement petition, we determine the reason it was denied and review what your best options are moving forward. One of these options may include refiling the petition with more evidence. If this is the best option in your particular case, we will let you know which specific evidence will best help your chances.

Back to top

Will Prop 64 expungement or reduction relieve me of the registration requirement?

No. Proposition 64 only applies to marijuana cases, not any offense that would require sex offender registration.

Back to top

No. Proposition 64 only applies to marijuana cases, not any offense that would require sex offender registration.

If your case is expunged, the judge will sign a court order stating that your conviction is dismissed and orders it sealed. If reduced, the judge signs an order that the conviction is now reduced to a lower offense. The court clerk then mails that order to our law firm, and we will email or mail the order to you. Additionally, the criminal databases (for instance, the CA Department of Justice) will update your criminal history to reflect the sealing or reduction.

Once your case is granted, you will want to consider two additional services that we offer.

Expedited Record Clearance Update is an essential step to take after your record is expunged if you are concerned about what appears on commercial background checks (the kind used by most non-government employers). Courts do not notify background check companies that an expungement has been granted. We will take the steps necessary to have your expunged record removed from more than 600 background check providers within 14 days. You can read more about this service by clicking here.

Additionally, our Background Check Removal service will remove your information from 30 background check companies, including some the most well known companies, such as BeenVerfied.com and LexisNexis PeopleWise. This service takes approximately 45 days. While we can remove your information even without an expungement, once your case is granted, this service will still be beneficial. You can read more about this service by clicking here.

Back to top

How do the agencies know the Prop 64 expungement or reduction was granted?

After the expungement or reduction is granted, the court sends the order to the California Department of Justice (DOJ), who will update their records—either sealing the case or reducing it. Other agencies and background companies obtain their information from the court or the DOJ.

Back to top

How long do records take to be updated after my record is expunged/reduced?

The court will update their own records within a week or two of the case being granted, and the California Department of Justice (DOJ) usually updates their records within 30 days.

However, private background check providers are likely still reporting inaccurate information. To help solve this problem, RecordGone.com offers two additional services. Our Expedited Criminal Record Update service is an essential step that gets your expunged record cleared from over 600 background check companies within 14 days of receiving the granted order, instead of the several months or years it can take for these companies to update their records on their own. Also, we can remove your record from 30 popular people search websites, including BeenVerified.com. We can clear these databases, even without an expungement order, in about 45 days.

Back to top

After my California conviction is expunged under Prop 64, can I have the record reduced?

If your case is expunged under Prop 64, it is probably not necessary to reduce the case further because the conviction is considered legally invalid, at any level of offense. If you receive a reduction under Prop 64, you may be eligible to expunge your case under PC 1203.4.

Back to top

Will Proposition 64 Expungement clear my DMV record?

No, probably not. Since Prop 64 deals with marijuana possession/cultivation/sale/transport offenses only, it should not implicate your DMV record. Driving under the influence of marijuana or other substances is not eligible under Proposition 64, but might be eligible under another statute. After a certain number of years, however, the records automatically disappear from your DMV record. This is unlike your criminal history, which never disappears unless you actively petition to clear it.

Back to top

Will my CA criminal record prohibit me from visiting Canada?

The Canadian government has entered into an information sharing agreement with the United States, so the Canadian government has access to whatever information the United States has on file. The benefit of Prop 64 expungement or reduction is that it will show the Canadian government that the matter was resolved and is no longer considered a conviction or show as a lesser offense. This will improve the odds of being granted entry into Canada.

Back to top

Can I get a Sentri Pass after the case is expunged or reduced?

The Border Patrol has discretion to grant or deny a Sentri pass application; therefore the best thing to do is to clear your record as much as possible before applying for a pass, as it could be the difference between having your request accepted or denied.

Back to top

Can I vote after my case is expunged?

In California, you do not lose your right to vote unless you are currently in prison or currently on parole for a felony offense. You can view information about voting rights at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm

Back to top

Will an expungement or reduction help with immigration?

Since each case is unique, it is important to get a case-by-case analysis tailored to your specific facts. This will allow you to know if your criminal case is affecting your immigration case and/or if an expungement or reduction could help. To discussion your case with our in-house immigration attorney, please call 714-617-8395.

Back to top

Can I expunge or reduce a federal conviction?

Unfortunately, Proposition 64 is only for California state offenses.

Back to top

Will an expungement or reduction restore my right to possess a firearm?

Yes. An offense that is expunged is considered legally invalid and is dismissed. A previous felony offense that is reduced under Prop 64 is considered a misdemeanor for all purposes, including firearm purposes.

Back to top

Will expungement or reduction under Prop 64 remove a strike for the purposes of California’s Three Strikes Law?

No. Offenses eligible under Prop 64 are not offenses that count as strikes in California. However, having a felony reduced to a misdemeanor will be treated as a misdemeanor for future sentencing.

Back to top

What if I still owe restitution?

An outstanding restitution balance doesn't disqualify you from relief Proposition 64 relief.

Back to top

Can I serve on a jury if I get my record expunged?

Under California expungement law, you may serve on a jury if you: (1) are a United States citizen, (2) are at least eighteen years of age, (3) can understand English enough to understand and discuss the case at hand, (4) are a resident of the county for which you received the jury summons, (5) have not served on a jury in the last twelve months, (6) are not on a grand jury or on another trial jury currently, (7) are not under a conservatorship, and (8) have had your civil rights restored if you have been convicted of a felony or a malfeasance while holding public office.

(http://www.courts.ca.gov/jurybasics.htm)

Back to top

Do I have to prove that I had less than an ounce of marijuana or 6 plants or less?

No. To obtain relief under Prop 64, you simply swear in a court document under penalty of perjury that you meet the eligibility under Prop 64. The burden of proof then shifts to the prosecutor, and they must show that you do not qualify for an expungement or reduction under Prop 64.

Back to top

What if I'm still serving my sentence or still on probation?

If your marijuana offense is one that is now not a crime under Prop 64 or is now a lesser offense you can immediately petition to expunge your conviction or reduce your offense.

Back to top

Are marijuana offenses reduced automatically after 2 years?

Sometimes. It depends on the specific offense for which you were convicted. Under Proposition 64, records of an arrest or conviction for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana (Health & Safety Code, § 11357 subdivisions (b), (c), (d), or (e)) or for giving away, offering to give away, transporting, offering to transport, or attempting to transport not more than an ounce of marijuana (Health & Safety Code, § 11360, subdivision (b)), are automatically sealed and destroyed two years after the date of conviction (or the date of arrest if no conviction). This applies to all records of the arrest, all court records, and all records kept by the California Department of Justice. (HS § 11361.5). If you are unsure whether a conviction is still on your record, we can be hired to research your criminal history for you.

Back to top


The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for California Proposition 64 Marijuana Expungement.



FREE Eligibility Test



SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

Call us at 714-361-1967 or Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates

Orange County - Corporate Headquarters
1504 Brookhollow Dr. Suite 112, Santa Ana, CA 92705-5418 *

Los Angeles County
3655 Torrance Blvd., 3rd Floor, Torrance, CA 90503 *
450 N. Brand Blvd., Ste 600, Glendale, CA 91203 *

San Diego County
2534 State St., San Diego, CA 92101 *

Santa Clara County
99 South Almaden Blvd. Suite 600 San Jose CA  95113 *
*By Appointment Only