Expungement in California is a legal procedure that takes a conviction off of the record by removing the finding of guilt and changing the disposition of the case from a conviction to a dismissal. The law is designed to help deserving people get a fresh start.
Tens of thousands of Californians are struggling with the effects of a felony record. If you have a felony record in California, you can count on us to get the maximum amount of relief allowed by the law. RecordGone.com has helped expunge more than 1,000 felonies in California.
We are the leading expungement firm in California and across the country. We offer award-winning service at reasonable prices. Also we go beyond the process in the courtroom by offering you a service that clears your criminal record from over 600 background check companies. Other firms only handle court records.
California Penal Code Sections 1203.4, 1203.41, and 1203.42 allow individuals who have completed their sentence for a felony offense to petition to have their case dismissed. If the petition is granted, the court will permit the individual to withdraw their plea of guilty or nolo contendere or if convicted the court will set aside the verdict of guilty. The court will also then dismiss the information or accusations against the individual. The resulting dismissal from this process is also called an expungement.
Once your past felony criminal record is expunged, you can say truthfully that you were not convicted, except in three narrow circumstances. You must still disclose the conviction if asked on application or questionnaire for public office, getting a license from a local or state agency, and for contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.
It is also important to note that in many instances we can reduce the felony to a misdemeanor and thereby restore firearm rights — at no extra charge.
There are also some other limitations and exclusions to expungement that you should be aware of. Your conviction may still be considered by the DMV in revoking or suspending your privilege to drive. If your felony is expunged (and not reduced to a misdemeanor), you will still not be able to own or possess a gun and could still be charged with possessing a firearm as a felon. If your conviction would have prevented you from holding public office, having it expunged and dismissed does not reinstate that right, and you unfortunately would still be prohibited.
To be eligible for a felony expungement in California you must have completed your sentence. Also, you must not have any pending charges or be serving any other sentence at the time you file the expungement petition. Another requirement is to make sure court-ordered fines have been paid. In addition, there are specific offenses that are not eligible to be expunged.
California law does not permit expungement for some offenses, such as certain serious sexual offenses against children, including PC 286(c) Sodomy with a Child, PC 288 Lewd Acts with a Child, 288a(c) Oral Copulation with a Child, PC 261.5 Statutory Rape when over 21 years of age with victim under the age of 16, and some child pornography offenses (PC sections 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, or 311.11).
Moreover, if you went to state prison after 2011 for your felony offense you will not be eligible for an expungement, but you may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.
Even if you violated your probation, you are still able to petition to expunge the conviction in California. Successful completion of the probation term with no violations may make the expungement process a bit easier, but we have had a lot success also expunging cases in which the defendant violated probation.
If you had a probation violation, the court may schedule a hearing to decide whether to grant your expungement. At the hearing, the judge hearing your case will have discretion on whether you should be granted the relief or not. While making that determination, the judge will most likely take into consideration: how serious the offense was, your criminal history (if you have other convictions on your record) and whether you complied with all the other terms of probation in a timely manner. You will also have the opportunity to present evidence showing you deserve and/or need the expungement. This evidence can include: missed job opportunities, career advancements, if you support your family, as well as any volunteer work or community ties you may have that indicate you are deserving of the relief.
To determine if your case is eligible for expungement, fill out this short, free and confidential eligibility evaluation right now.
The typical felony expungement case in California takes between four to five months, but the timeframe varies by court. We initiate work on your case the same day you sign up for our services. The courts in California hear cases in the same order in which they were filed, so the earlier you begin, the earlier your past felony record can be expunged.
Traditionally, a state prison sentence with the California Department of Corrections was a bar to expungement in California. Those offenders were limited to receiving a Certificate of Rehabilitation or a Governor's Pardon. But in 2011, California voters passed Assembly Bill 109 (AB 109), commonly referred to as "realignment." It allowed those convicted of low-level or less serious felonies to serve their sentences in local county jails and potentially serve probation rather than complete their sentence in state prison with the California Department of Corrections under Penal Code section 1170. In the following years additional changes were made to the California Penal code which allowed more individuals to receive expungement in California. In 2013, additional changes were enacted by the California Legislature through Assembly Bill 651 (AB 651), which allowed those individuals who received a realignment sentence under Penal Code section 1170 to obtain an expungment. Then again in 2017, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1115 (AB 1115), allowing those who served a prison sentence prior to the 2011 realignment change who would have been eligible for a Section 1170 sentence had the law been in place when they were sentenced prior to 2011 to obtain an expungement.
To determine if your case is eligible for expungement despite your prison sentence or felony realignment sentence, fill out this short, free and confidential eligibility evaluation right now.
Many California felonies are eligible to be reduced to a misdemeanor. If your offense is one that is eligible and you did not serve a prison sentence or receive a felony realignment sentence, we will also ask the court to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor. If the court grants the reduction, all rights (including the right to own a firearm) that were lost as a result of that felony conviction being a felony are restored. We do not charge extra to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code section 17(b).
A felony is eligible for reduction so long as it is the type of offense under the Penal Code that can be a misdemeanor or a felony and the sentence did not result in serving a prison sentence. It is permittable that you received a suspended prison sentence, so long as you did not serve that sentence with the Department of Corrections and instead received a term of probation to complete. Serving jail time in a local county jail is not considered a prison sentence unless you were serving that time through a realignment sentence under Section 1170. Being eligible is just half of the battle. We also must show that reducing your felony is in the interest of justice and that you are deserving. We are experts at felony reduction and know what judges are looking for when they evaluate a reduction case.
The cost to expunge a felony varies by attorney. Law firms that have extensive experience in the area of expungement tend to be less expensive. Our law firm will expunge your record for a single flat fee that we guarantee to be the lowest price among lawyers.
The price includes having us file the essential motions, reply to either oral or written opposition from the District Attorney's office, and send one of our qualified CA attorneys to court to vigorously advocate your case before a judge. If it will help you, we will also be glad to send a notice to any potential employer that your record is in the process of being expunged.
Normally, you will not have to appear in court for your expungement proceedings. You can have us do the work, while we keep you updated— you can even check the development of your case online.
Expungement hearings are done before the judge. There is no jury. Somebody representing the prosecution will attend the hearing, and possibly argue against the expungement. While the rules of evidence apply in these hearings, they proceedings are a little less formal than a trial. Oral arguments on a felony expungement typically take about 10 minutes— once the case is called. With courts as busy as they are, it is not uncommon for it to take multiple hours for a case to be called on the day of the expungement hearing.
You have pretty good chance of getting your felony expunged if you sign on with us. Our track record for California Felony Expungement is spectacular. We have succeeded in over 96% of our California felony cases— if you did not violate any terms of your probation or sentence, the success rate is even higher. Each case is different. Your chances of success increase if more time has passed since your conviction because we can then show the court more of the positive achievements you have made in your life.
We start each case by having our clients complete a questionnaire that asks questions about their accomplishments since the conviction and goals for the future. We use this information and the court records to create a strategy for success on your expungement. While we never turn down a case for being too difficult, we will let you know if we see particular challenges and what we can do to overcome them.
Our exclusive Expedited Record Clearance Update service allows us to have the leading background check companies reflect changes to your criminal record in less than 14 days, instead of months and even years like our competitors.
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* This price does not include the flat Filing and Processing fee, which is $175. If you violated any of the terms of your probation, there will be an additional charge of $250 due to the amount of increased work and hearings. If you received a realignment sentence under PC 1170 or state prison sentence prior to 2011, there is an additional $125 fee due to the extra work and hearings.
In some instances a report from the Department of Justice and/or FBI may need to be obtained. This may require you to be fingerprinted and you may need to pay an additional approximate fee of $25.
** 100% Money-Back Guarantee does not include the flat Filing and Processing Fee. There is a 50% money back guarantee for vehicle or driving offenses, including DUI convictions, cases with a violation of the terms of probation, and cases that are felony realignment or prison sentence cases prior to 2011.
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