Los Angeles Expungement Attorney
We have “cleaned” or expunged convictions for clients that completed probation satisfactory and for clients that violated probation. If you completed probation satisfactory and did not pick up a new case, then you are entitled to petition the court to expunge your record. (Penal Code, § 1203.4) There is a court-approved form that you file with the court clerk. Typically there is a filing fee, which is approximately $125.00. You will also need to serve a copy of the petition of the prosecutor. If you complete all of the terms of your probation, without any violations, then expunging your record is usually a routine matter. You may be able to do this yourself. If you need someone to fill out the expungement form, file it, and serve the prosecutor, please contact our office.
If you violated probation, expunging your record is more complicated. If you violated probation, you are not automatically entitled to expungement. If you violated probation, we suggest that you file a written motion, rather than the expungement form, and explain to the judge why you violated probation. A written motion has the benefit of explaining to the court why you violated probation and gives you a chance to demonstrate to the court all of the positive things that you are now doing with your life.
Expungement will “clean” your record. Afterward, you can truthfully answer that you were not convicted of this crime. This can help with employment and other applications that ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Expungement, however, has its limitations. If you were convicted of a felony or had your felony reduced to a misdemeanor, you can not legally possess a firearm. Also, your record may be cleaned in the eyes of California. However, for United States immigration purposes, your conviction will remain. Contact us to see if we can help.
Reducing your felony conviction to a misdemeanor and then expunging your case.
Certain felonies are considered “wobblers.” A “wobbler” can be filed as a felony or misdemeanor. Examples of “wobblers” include domestic violence. (Penal Code § 273.5) “When a crime is punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or, by fine or imprisonment in the county jail” it is considered a “wobbler.” (Penal Code, § 17)
You can ask the court to reduce your felony “wobbler” to a misdemeanor. Unlike a straight expungement, where probation was completed satisfactory, the decision to reduce the conviction rests solely with the judge. The judge may consider any criminal history, subsequent conduct, positive things that you are doing now, and the nature of the underlying offense. If you have doubts about whether the court will reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor, then the better course is to file a written motion. Otherwise, all the court will have to decide is a form, which does not inform the court why your felony should be reduced.
Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.