San Diego Expungement Attorneys
A criminal record expungement is the process by which criminal conviction records are destroyed or sealed.
Who maintains arrest records and what do they include?
Local police departments and the state Department of Justice keep arrest records. By law, they cannot show such records to anyone except law enforcement officers, and may only show records of convictions to certain licensing agencies that have a right by state law to investigate an applicant’s criminal background.
An arrest record includes such information as when and why the arrest was made, whether the charges were dropped, whether there was a conviction, and the sentence imposed. Both pleading guilty pre-trial and a guilty verdict after trial count as convictions.
Those who successfully complete the probation may qualify to have the conviction set aside and the case dismissed. Upon successful completion of felony probation, certain felonies may be reduced to a misdemeanor.
Clear your criminal record
When records of an arrest or conviction are sealed or expunged, a notation is made in the file that the records are “off limits” to all except law enforcement personnel. For some purposes, prior arrests or convictions may be treated as though they happened. The benefit is that someone applying for school, a job, an auto or home loan, or perhaps a professional license, may not have to report any convictions or arrests, assuming no others exist at that time.
General guidelines about expungement programs:
- Expungement applications must be made in writing. This should only be done by an experienced professional/firm.
- If acquitted, it may be possible to have the records of the arrest and charge sealed immediately.
- Arrest and conviction records are not automatically expunged or sealed after a certain time period.
- Expunged convictions could be used to increase the severity of a sentence should a defendant again be convicted.
- Convictions may not be expunged until about one year after they occur, and only where the defendant has served his sentence and is facing no new charges.
- Not all convictions are eligible for expungement. In many states, defendants cannot expunge felony convictions or convictions involving sex offenses.
- We maintain an extensive database containing information about what can and cannot be expunged by state. If you are interested in sealing your criminal record, we encourage you to call now for a free/no obligation consultation during which we will confirm your eligibility and explain the process involved in completing the expungement.
Hire an experienced San Diego Expungement attorney. Stephen G. Cline has been practicing San Diego criminal defense for 20 years. His reputation and experience will be the key to the expungement of your San Diego case. Call today at (619) 235-5638 to review your specific case!