California Passes Expungement Law Benefiting Future Offenders

On October 8, Governor Newsome signed into law AB 1076, Assemblyman Ting’s bill to automate the expungement of eligible criminal convictions. The bill went through numerous changes, but at its heart, it is an effort to allow individuals to have their eligible record expunged without the assistance of an attorney. Notably, however, the law will only apply to those with eligible convictions or arrests that occur on or after January 1st, 2021. Those possessing records which occurred prior to that date will still need to file a petition with the court in order to expunge their criminal record.

The move to automate expungement is slowly growing across the country. Pennsylvania has a clean slate law and Utah will see its automatic expungement law go into effect next May. Automatic relief is also the reason that New Jersey’s governor vetoed expansive expungement legislation in his state, saying that the proposed bill did not make it easy enough for would be applicants to see their records expunged. In a number of states, eligible people are not pursuing expungement of their records expunged because of ignorance of available relief or because the process is too onerous to pursue on their own.

Some lawmakers view automatic expungement as the solution to the problem of not enough eligible people pursuing expungement, despite the enhanced workload this policy brings to the overtaxed court bureaucracy. It was concern for the record keeping bureaucracy that may have lead to revisions of the California bill to move the application date to the future, rather than cover cases going back to the 1970s, which was the bill’s original intention. Going back that far would have presented numerous challenges to the bureaucracy to meet their new legal mandate and it is not hard to imagine that many people would be left out of the relief simply because of administrative strain. Thankfully, the new law avoids the disruptive policy path and instead provides a longer landing strip to adapt to the upcoming disruptive changes.

The effective date of the application of the law does leave those who have a record now stuck with the current system. The law is limited to only helping those who commit offenses or who are alleged to commit offenses in 2021 and after. Basically the law is only for the relief of future offenders.

Fortunately there is a firm out there dedicated to remove the opaque curtain from the process and help people afford and achieve expungement relief. The Law Firm of Higbee & Associates through has helped thousands of Californians achieve not only expungement relief, but also see their probation terminated early, have their qualifying felonies reduced to misdemeanors, and seek pardons. is a full service law firm that focuses on providing relief in the most economical way possible to help as many potential clients achieve their best opportunity. California’s expungement eligibility criteria, while not changed by this law, remains broadly open to numerous types of cases.

We would encourage to contact our firm so you are not one of the eligible people left behind by this new law. We handle the paperwork for you and provide you a money back guarantee in most circumstances. Contact our specialists at (877) 573-7273 or take our free online eligibility test to get started today. If you are someone with a record today, this law will not help you tomorrow.

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