Experienced Local Criminal Attorney Gurjit Srai Serving San Joaquin, Fresno, Merced Counties
You made a mistake and you paid for it. Although you paid your dues and you have moved on, your criminal record will remain a fixture unless you take the steps necessary to set aside the past. Most misdemeanors and certain felony offenses can be expunged from your criminal record unless you have been sentenced to state prison.
The legal team at the Srai Law Office will guide you through the expungement process to help you clear your record as quickly as possible. An expungement will clear your criminal record and give you a second chance.
Criminal defense attorney Gurjit Singh Srai serves communities across the Central Valley. He has helped many individuals with past criminal records have a second chance to living a fuller life. Our legal team will do everything possible to help you. For more information or to learn how we can help you, contact the Srai Law Office.
What Is an Expungement?
An expungement is the legal process of removing or dismissing a conviction from your criminal record. A successful expungement can relieve you of certain penalties that result from a criminal conviction. Some of the limitations of a criminal record include:
- Having to reveal your criminal record on employment applications
- Being denied certain housing or employment opportunities
- Not being able to obtain credit
- Not being able to run for political positions
- Not being able to become a U.S. citizen
Despite what most people believe, an expungement does not seal or destroy your criminal record. This legal process simply allows for the dismissal of your conviction. In other words, if your Stockton criminal defense attorney is able to successfully expunge your criminal record, it will be as if your had pleaded “not guilty” and the court ordered the case to be dismissed.
Not All Criminal Convictions Can Be Expunged
Not all criminal convictions can be expunged. Under California law, expungement is not allowed in cases where the defendant was sentenced to federal prison. Under California Penal Code Section 1203.4, you may be eligible for an expungement if:
- You have fulfilled all of the conditions of your probation for the entire period of your probation; or
- You have been discharged before your probation period is over; or
- The court determines that you should be granted the relief; and
- You are not serving a sentence for a new criminal offense
- You are not on probation for committing a new criminal offense
- You have not been charged with a new criminal offense.
Some convictions that are eligible for expungement include:
- Drug possession and other drug related crimes
- Domestic violence
- DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Prostitution & Sex Crimes
- Stolen property offenses, petty theft, shoplifting
- Assault, assault with a deadly weapon, battery
The bottom line is that getting your criminal record expunged is a long and complicated process. You need the help of an experienced expungement attorney in Stockton to successfully complete this legal process. The legal team at the Srai Law Office has the knowledge to help give you a clean slate to work with so you can move towards a better and brighter future.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Expungement Process
A criminal record can negatively impact many aspects of your life. From limiting employment opportunities to stripping you of your voting rights, a criminal record can be damaging to your future. Under California laws, certain criminal convictions can be expunged from your record. Below are some frequently asked questions about expungement in California.
Can an Expungement Be Reversed?
Once your attorney successfully completes the expungement of your criminal record, it cannot be reversed. However, it is important to note that if you are arrested and/or charged with a new crime, the prosecutor can use your expunged conviction against you.
Can a Felony Conviction Be Expunged?
California law allows certain felonies to be expunged as long as you have successfully complete all the terms of your probation and you were not sent to state prison. Expungement of felonies depends on how seriousness and type of felony violation.
If your felony conviction was a wobbler (a charge that can be filed either as a misdemeanor or felony), our legal team may be able to reduce it to a misdemeanor and then proceed to expunge the conviction.
Can a Misdemeanor Be Expunged?
Under California law, your misdemeanor conviction may be successfully expunged upon the completion of your probation period and as long as you are not currently charged with a new criminal offense. Like felony convictions, the court has discretion if you have violated your probation.
Despite common belief, misdemeanors are not automatically cleared off your criminal record. You will need to take the necessary steps to petition the court to have your conviction dismissed. This process can take approximately two to four months.
Do I need to expunge a dismissed charge?
You do not need to expunge a dismissed criminal charge. If the charges against you are dismissed or if you are found not guilty at the end of a trial, there will be no charge on your record. However, just because you do not have a conviction on your record in these cases, it is not as if the arrest never happened. A public background search could reveal a dismissal or not guilty verdict on your record.
Although this record does not prove your guilt, it could have your potential employer or anyone else doing the search assume you must be guilty of something, whether fair or not. The only complete solution for your is to remove public record of the incident altogether by getting the dismissal expunged from your record.
Will expungement affect my driver’s license?
An expungement does not affect your DMV record.
What happens if I am not eligible to have my record expunged?
Not all criminal convictions can be expunged under California law. Most misdemeanors and some felonies qualify. A judge generally has discretion as to whether grant or deny a petition for expungement. You will have only one opportunity for an expungement, so it is best to hire a Central Valley attorney to make sure it is done right.
If your case is not eligible for expungement, you may have a few other options including:
- Having your records sealed or destroyed – seals and/or destroying any police records, arrest records, and other documents pertaining to your case
- Obtaining a certificate of rehabilitations – a method of receiving a direct pardon, which relieves you from the penalties associated with your conviction including the restoration of certain rights
- Receiving a direct pardon from the governor – an option available if you are not eligible for a certificate of rehabilitation, including no longer being a resident of California
Can I get an expungement of multiple convictions?
Generally, if you have two or more convictions, you will not be eligible for an expungement. However, you may still be eligible for an expungement if you have been convicted of not more than two minor offenses in addition to the one sought to be expunged.
Why Should I Get an Expungement?
An expungement allows you to have a clean slate to work with so you can move on with your life. It conceals your criminal conviction from future employers, which is valuable if you are looking for a job. It will also make it easier for you to buy a house, rent an apartment, and apply for a bank loan or credit. Time will not cure a criminal conviction. You need to hire a Stockton expungement lawyer to secure the relief afforded under California law.
Can I speak to an attorney over the phone and ask specific questions about my case?
If you are interested in sealing your criminal record through expungement, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You can call us at (209) 323-5558 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Gurjit Srai. He will answer any questions you may have.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Expungement Lawyer
A criminal conviction can carry severe consequences under California law. An experienced expungement attorney can help you determine if your conviction can be expunged or is eligible for any other form of post-conviction relief that can give you hope for a better and brighter future.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Stockton criminal defense attorneys, please call us at (209) 323-5558, or complete our online form.