A felony or misdemeanor conviction can adversely affect your employment prospects, loan approvals, and other opportunities, but you may be able to seek relief from some of the long-term consequences. In California, an expungement can alleviate the burden of a criminal record by removing the conviction from background checks and prohibiting most employers from using an expunged conviction against you. San Francisco expungement lawyer David Uthman has spent decades advocating for criminal defendants in the courtroom and understands the hurdles that people face after serving out a sentence. Mr. Uthman can analyze the circumstances of your conviction and, if appropriate, take the steps necessary to petition for an expungement.Overview of the Expungement Process in California
An expungement in California is a legal procedure that releases a person from most consequences of a conviction. Essentially, an expungement should prevent the conviction from appearing on background checks obtained by most employers, landlords, and credit agencies. While the conviction is not sealed or erased from a person’s criminal record, most employers generally cannot consider an expunged conviction when making hiring decisions or ask questions about it. For many people, an expungement can be instrumental in securing gainful employment, qualifying for student loans, furthering their careers, and allowing them the satisfaction of moving forward with their life.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense in California, you may be entitled to an expungement once you have fulfilled the conditions of your probation. A waiting period of one to two years may be required if you were denied probation, or if you served time in a county jail. Otherwise, the process can be initiated by petitioning the court immediately after your probation period. An expungement attorney can guide San Francisco residents through the procedures.
You may not be eligible if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- You were sentenced to state prison for the conviction.
- The conviction is for a criminal offense that cannot be expunged, such as certain sexual offenses against children and some other crimes.
- You are currently on probation, parole, or mandatory supervision, or serving a sentence.
- There is a pending criminal charge against you.
There are some exceptions that may allow you to petition the court for an expungement despite a disqualifying action, particularly if you served a state prison sentence for an offense that has since been reclassified. A San Francisco expungement attorney can assist you in this process by determining whether you are eligible for an expungement, preparing and filing the petition and supporting documents with the court, and representing you during the expungement hearing. If the expungement is granted, the judge will set aside the guilty verdict or allow you to withdraw your guilty plea and dismiss the charges against you.
While there are many advantages to having a conviction expunged, there are a few limitations. Some expunged convictions may still be counted as prior convictions for certain criminal offenses, such as multiple DUI convictions. An expungement cannot reinstate your driving privileges if your license has been suspended or revoked by the California DMV. Nor does the expungement law restore your civil right to possess firearms in California. If these matters are important to you, an attorney can explain whether you are eligible for other types of post-conviction relief, such as a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon, to resolve them.Discuss Your Situation with an Expungement Lawyer in San Francisco
You should find out whether you may benefit from an expungement by discussing your conviction with an experienced legal professional. Attorney David Uthman can assist individuals throughout the Bay Area in identifying opportunities to clean their criminal record so that they can move forward with their lives. Schedule your free consultation with the Uthman Law Office today by calling 415.556.9200 or submitting our online contact form. We handle cases involving DUIs, domestic violence, manslaughter, assault, and many other criminal offenses.