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When a public record of a person had convicted of a crime, it affects the person’s whole life. The person’s record is checked everywhere, and his or her criminal history would be displayed to anyone running a background check. It opens up the history from a small misdemeanor to a serious felony.
With any criminal, it is hard to avail of any opportunity. Any criminal record creates blockade extensively for the lawbreaker to live their life normally. Many problems have to be faced by an offender because of his or her past,
- Finding employment will never be easy.
- Before renting or purchasing a house, the records are checked and make it difficult to find an adequate house.
- It also becomes complex for a student to study morally.
- It will never be easy to get a professional license of many fields like a lawyer, doctor, nurse, etc. if a person has a criminal history.
California Is Compassionate
If a person is arrested in California but never convicted has the right to destroy his or her record as a matter of right. The authorities of California have passed the law to seal a case if the person is not convicted that means the record will not be shown on backgrounds to anyone except the law enforcement.
But … What If You Are Convicted?
In a case, if any was plead guilty or found guilty and had convicted for the crime can apply for expungement of the record. Record expungement or record cleaning means to clear the records of being guilty by petitioning the court to re-open your case and dismiss it or set your guilty verdict aside.
If your petition is granted, your case will be recorded as “dismissed under Penal Code 1203.4” instead of affirming that you were convicted or found guilty. By this law, an offender, that had bare the punishment of the deed can look forward to the better future.
When Could You File A Petition?
Before applying for any petition, you must have fulfilled some conditions:
- Your underlying offense occurred in state court, as opposed to federal;
- You can appeal the petition if you had county jailed, state jailed criminal does not have this compassion
- You must have completed all the terms of the trial
- The case, for which you want expungement, must be closed.
- You don’t have any term of the trial to serve after the offense.
Petition Can Be Filed for Multiple Cases
Record expungement can be filed for each case. The case for dismissal must be filed separately at the case originated courts. The Orange County Record Expungement law allows the offenders to clear all the records that are fulfilling the eligibility criteria and the above-explained conditions.
Record Expungement Is Different From Sealing Records
Record expungement does not mean to clear all the criminal records. It means that the “conviction” stated in your record will be shown as dismissal and the criminal record does not display you as guilty.
Sealing the records means to clear the records and does not display while running a background check. The sealing record works for those who are arrested in a case, but they are not convicted.
Records That Do Not Comply With Expungement Criteria
Some of the records may be shown on the recorded history depending on the level of sophistication of the background check agency. The intensity of the sophistication is directly related to the job you are applying for.
To understand the laws for specific conditions, some scenarios are defined here according to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The act legalizes the history checks for informational purposes.
If the person is non-conviction and the age of the person is beneath seven years, the records can be visible on the background check.
Non-conviction case means to be one of the following
- The case was never filed in the court formally
- It was dismissed
- The case does not have a guilty verdict
- The judgment has a late entry
- The person was sent for a rehabilitation program
The second scenario defines the non-conviction whose age is more than seven years old. These types of cases are not reported in background checks mostly.
Pursuant to the FCRA, the records are visible to everyone who runs background checks on a person’s history forever. But it can be sorted out by taking advantage of expungement law. The record can be cleared by petitioning to the court if the case is closed.
A non-conviction becomes a conviction. In case, the judgment was late, or the person was sent to a diversion program, and the person violated any terms then the case would be converted to conviction and will be reported as state three.
The situation five is if expungement petition is granted then the case will not be visible on background checks as they are already sealed.
What Is Provided in The Law?
California Panel Code 1203.4 allows the convictions to erase guilty verdicts from their case by filing for an expungement. It is allowed for the individuals convicted from the small misdemeanors to the felonies to clear the records.
While completing the probation period, expungement appeal can be filed to reduce the probation. It may not be granted at the time of probation, but the judge had the right to do so, in case. If it is not granted at the time, then it will be considered as expungement.
The Panel Code 17(b) allows a felony convicted to reduce the conviction to the misdemeanors in the records in the state of the case is not eligible for the expungement.
Under California Penal Code 851.8 / Senate Bill 393, a person that was arrested in a case but not convicted or just sent for diversion program can appeal to seal or destroy a record.
Under the California Penal Code 4852.01, a felony convicted individual can apply for the diversion program certificate.
California Penal Code 1000, it allows to have a diversion program for drug offenses, and after serving it, all the case will be dismissed.
What Is Not Provided in The Law?
The Law provides much leverage, but there are some conditions which are not entertained through this law. The limitations are needed to be understood before a petition for the expungement.
- Your all criminal records will not be erased even after the expungement is granted. It reports the case as dismissed and your guilty verdict will not be shown at the time background check.
- After the expungement, it becomes easier to apply for a professional license, but in some situations like applying for public office positions and the state lottery, all the records must be disclosed.
- If a person commits the same crime after expungement than it will be considered as a prior able offense. It becomes more severe if the crime is committed multiple times.
- You lose the right to possess a firearm in case of any offense and will not be reinstated to you after expungement. It may have some other possibilities to retrieve your 2nd Amendment rights.
- If your convictions want to register yourself as a sex offender, you have to do so. The expungement will not give you relief from it
Why File an Expungement?
There are many benefits of California Panel Code 1203.4 and the most common are
Having some dark history and records with some criminal background, affect the living in many ways. It is always become harder to get a job even you are qualified and eligible enough to get the job. Past always affect the future if the right decisions are not made at the right time.
The act passed by the California authorities helps everyone (especially the youth of the country) to write their future bright and erasing the shadows of their past.
Get adequate Housing
Want to have a pretty house in a nice environment, but everyone is not welcomed in society easily. The law helps to cover the past to have
A student can study with a cleared past. With a dark past, many schools and universities do not allow entering, but the law helps the youth and gives the chance to stand again.
Acquire professional licenses
With the expungement convictions, the person is eligible to get professional license to serve except some, like, public office positions
Peace of mind
The most valuable thing in the world, peace of mind, which was devastated by doing the crime or convicted for that, can be got back by the expungement. And one can begin his or her life again.
When, where and How to apply for an expungement?
It is always hard for one to take the right step at the right time especially when in crises. The Record Expungement & Sealing Attorney can help you in filing the petition at the right time at the right place in the right way.
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