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Felony Expungement -


       If you were convicted of a felony and are still on probation, you can request an early release from probation under Penal Code §1203.3 and file a separate petition under Penal Code §17(b) to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor (assuming the felony qualifies as a "wobbler") and also file a petition to have the conviction expunged under Penal Code §1203.4.

If Convicted of a Felony

       If you were convicted of a felony and you have completed your local county jail time and have completed your probation, you can file the petitionto have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor (assuming the felony qualifies as a "wobbler") and also file a petition to have the conviction expunged under Penal Code §1203.4.

       If you were convicted of a felony and you have completed your local county jail time but were never given any probation, you can file the petition to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor (assuming the felony qualifies as a "wobbler") and also file a petition to have the conviction expunged under Penal Code §1203.4a.

       If you were convicted of a felony and were sentenced to state prison, then you need to file a petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon.

Application of Dismissal

       The application for dismissal can be done in person or by attorney or by the probation office. What happens is that the court, upon proper motion, may allow the defendant to withdraw the previously entered plea of guilty or no contest or even set aside a prior verdict of guilty and enter a plea of not guilty and dismiss the prior accusation. In other words, the prior conviction is dismissed and the person is released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense, except as provided in Vehicle Code §13555.

       Dismissal of an accusation does not permit a person to own, possess or have in his/her custody or control any firearm or to violate Penal Code §12021.

       Dismissal of an accusation does not relieve the person from their obligation to disclose the prior conviction in response to any direct question contained in any application or questionnaire for public office, for licensing by any state or local office or for contracting with the state lottery.

What Private Employers Can Ask about Your Conviction

       Generally, most private employers cannot ask you about any arrests that did not result in a conviction or about convictions that resulted in a dismissal under penal Code §1203.4.

Eligibility for a Dismissal

       To be eligible for a dismissal, you must have successfully completed your probation or had probation terminated early, you must have paid all the fines, order or restitution or other reimbursements ordered by the court, you must not be serving another sentence or on probation for another offense and you must not be currently charged with another offense.

       If you never received probation for the felony offense, then at least one year must pass since the date of conviction and you have fully complied with all the orders of the sentencing court, you must not be serving another sentence, you must not be charged with another offense and you must have obeyed the law and lived an honest and upright life since the time of your conviction.

- Written by , Attorney at Law



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