A person with some criminal record has to face the consequences for the whole life even if the crime is a small misdemeanor. The shadow of the dark past always affects the present and the future. A black dot in history always acts as a barrier to all the opportunities a person can avail.
Life became severely difficult to pass with some shadowed past. It is hard in every phase of life and can make a person cut down from the world. There are two things that always pull the person from the past; one is the guilt of the crime, and the other is that mark which is attached to the history, and that is not easy to remove.
The past always became a blockade in many aspects, and commonly they include:
- Difficulty in finding employment as organizations do background checks.
- Having adequate housing whether it is renting or owning is not easy
- School and universities are not very much open to welcome students with such history
- It is hard to get a license that allows producing the service potentially
California Provides Leniency to Its Citizen
But California is quite compassionate for its citizen and provides such laws that allow a person to begin his or her life honorably.
For The Convicted Citizens
Another law that is California panel Code 1203.4 allows the convicted citizen to clear their records. If a person had pleaded guilty or found guilty in any case and convicted over it can apply for clear the record. Record clearing or record expungement can remove the signs of being guilty and can be avail by petitioning to the same court where the case was originated.
If the appeal for expungement is granted, then the record will state “dismissed under Penal Code 1203.4” in any background check rather than convicted or guilty. With the help of this law, a convicted individual can have a pleasant present without the footprints of a past conviction.
For Non-Convicted Citizen
Some acts are passed such as Panel Code 851.8 that allows its non-convicted citizens to seal their records. The law allows destroying the records that means the record will not be visible on background checks except law enforcement. If a person that was arrested in any case but not convicted the law also serves him or her.
Eligibility Criteria for Record Expungement
The Act has some conditions that are needed to be followed before filing a petition
- Your case must not listen in federal court; only the cases in state court are acceptable for expungement.
- You must not be sentenced in state jail as the conviction
- The terms of the probation must be completed before filing the appeal
- An open-case petition cannot be a file in the court for expungement
- You should not be serving any term of probation subsequent offense
Record Expungement Vs. Sealing Records
Record sealing is applicable for the cases which are not convicted. It can be applied by the people who either sent for rehabilitation program or arrested for some reason but not sentenced during the trial. Record sealing means to remove the criminal record completely from the personal history
While record expungement serves those, who are sentenced in a case or found guilty in a case. The law does not allow the convicted person to remove the record but compassion to remove “found guilty or convicted” from the record and is reported as dismissed with PC 1203.4
In Which Cases, Petition Can Be Filed?
All the cases are not capable of the expungement, but it depends on whither cases. The sophistication level of the background checking agencies defines which records will be shown. The intensity of the background checking depends on the job you are applying for.
There are some states which make it easy to understand the law and the can be easily understood with the help of San Diego Expungement Attorney. These laws are regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that is responsible for history checks
The records of Non-convicted individual under the age of seven (7) are always visible during background checks. Non-convicted includes those cases which are never filed formally, dismissed, not have a guilty verdict, late entry of judgment or diversion program.
The records of non-convicted individuals above seven years are not reported in the history checks mostly.
According to FCRA, the records of convicted individuals are reported while background checks are run but can be cleared by applying for expungement.
In case a non-conviction become a conviction, that means if late judgment arrived or any term of a diversion program is violated then the case will be reported as scenario three.
If the expungement petition is already granted than the case will not be reported as cleared in the background check runs.
Multiple Cases Record Expungement
If an individual has multiple convicted cases than petition can be filed for each case, to the respective court the case was originated. The record expungement law allows the lawbreaker to clear the records which are acceptable for the petitioning.
Record Expungement & Sealing Laws
California Panel Code 1203.4
It allows the individuals to erase guilty verdict from the records by appealing for the expungement. The law applies for small crimes to the felonies.
During the probation period petition can be filed; it may not be granted but had a chance. If not, it will be considered as early expungement application.
The Panel Code 17(b)
The law allows the individuals with felony convicted to reduce the sentence in records as the convictions of small misdemeanors.
California Penal Code 851.8 / Senate Bill 393
The law allows the non-convicted individuals to destroy or seal the record.
California Penal Code 4852.01
An individual that is felony convicted can apply for rehabilitation certificate to be reported in the records after completing the sentence.
California Penal Code 1000
The act allows drug law offenders to have diversion programs and that will be dismissed after the completion.
Limitations of Record Expungement Law
Record expungement law is a relief for many individuals, but it also has some limitations. Some situations are not served under this act. These limitations are needed to be recalled before filing a petition.
- The records with criminal footprints are not washed but cleared as you are not guilty. The records are always there in the record even after expungement is granted.
- Expungement allows the convicted individuals to apply and acquire professional licenses but not all the licenses are granted, and complete history must be disclosed for the application of those licenses. Public office position and state lottery are some examples
- After the expungement, the record is saved as “prior able.” If the same crime is committed again than the expunged one will also be considered, and it becomes more severe.
- Even if the expungement is granted, one does not have to possess firearms and will not reinstate, but some possibilities are there under 2nd amendment rights
- If your conviction demand to register as a sex offender than you must, the expungement does not apply to such convictions.
Benefits of Record Expungement
The record expungement law provides many advantages that include
Helping in getting the job
The individuals face many barriers due to dark history. Criminal background affects life in many aspects, and the expungement law is very helpful in removing those barriers. With a criminal record, a qualified and eligible individual may find it difficult to get the job, but expungement helps them.
Get adequate Housing
The past shadows dim the lights of the present and future. The person with such records is not easily welcomed in society, and the dream housing adequately is difficult to fulfill. Expungement law helps to cover the dark past.
Many schools, colleges, and universities do not allow having the entry with such a dark past. The expungement law allows individuals to study honorably. It helps the student to start to write their future bright.
Acquire professional licenses
If someone is convicted of a crime, the person cannot acquire any professional license. He or she can never provide service professionally. But the law allows the individual to apply for the entire licenses except some like public officers.
Peace of mind
The expungement law gives you the relief from the embarrassment you may face due to criminal history. It allows the individual to live life fully. Although it has some limitations it has many benefits, and most importantly, your personality is not hidden behind your past
When to File Expungement and How?
If the right step is not taken at the right time, it can be difficult in the future, but it is never too late to begin. The Record Expungement and Sealing Attorney can be contacted for help to tell you the details and the way to appeal for the expungement