At Ozols Law Firm we offer low cost expungement services. We will review your case, discuss the likelihood of the expungement going through, and file the necessary paperwork – all for an affordable price. In most cases we handle the entire process for you. Call San Diego expungement attorney Alex Ozols today for a free consultation.
Expunging Your Criminal Record in San Diego
Criminal defense attorney Alex Ozols has helped many San Diego residents expunge their criminal records. While you may be able to complete the expungement yourself, having a qualified attorney complete and submit the paperwork for you can increase your chances of the court approving your request. We handle expungement cases throughout San Diego.
What Is An Expungement?
An expungement refers to the process by which you clean up your criminal record. The expungement process consists of asking the court to:
- Re-open your case,
- Withdraw your guilty plea,
- Enter a permanent not guilty plea,
- Dismiss the charges, and
- Close the case without a conviction
What Are The Expungement Laws?
The following are the Penal Code Sections dealing with expungement:
- Penal Code § 1203.4: If probation was part of the sentence, you use this section.
- Penal Code § 1203.4a: If there was no probation, you will refer to this section.
- Pental Code § 1203.41: If you were convicted of a felony but only served time in county jail (not state prison), then you would refer to this section.
- Penal Code § 17: If you were charged under a “wobbler,” you would use this section to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, then request that the case be dismissed.
Why Expunge My Criminal Record?
The most common reason why people want an expungement is because they want to either keep their job, get a new job, or get a degree which will further their hiring potential. No matter what job you are trying to get, you never want to go into an employment situation where there is an inherent distrust between the employer and the employee. Employers often do background checks on employees and one of the worst things that can come up is a prior conviction. This makes the employer believe that the individual is not honest and that they either may steal, or possibly abuse alcohol and drugs in the workplace.
Who Qualifies for An Expungement?
If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to expunge your criminal record:
- You were convicted of either a misdemeanor or felony
- You were granted probation
- You have complied with the conditions of probation
- You are not on probation for any other offense
- You are not currently charged with another offense
- All court ordered fines and/or restitution has been paid
Who Does NOT Qualify For Expungement?
- Conviction pursuant to Penal Code 261.5(d), 286(c), 288, 288a(c), 288.5, 289(j), Section 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, or 311.11
- Conviction of crimes listed under Penal Code 29900 (prior convictions of certain violent offenses, firearms)
- Any misdemeanor falling within the provisions of Section 42002.1 of the Vehicle Code
- Any infraction falling within the provisions of Section 42011 of the Vehicle Code
Calling a San Diego Expungement Attorney Can Help
The simplest way to get your record expunged is to call an expungement attorney who is an expert in this area. The expungement process begins with us obtaining some background of what you were doing before the conviction and what you are doing now. At Ozols Law Firm it is common to ask our clients to provide us with:
- Pay stubs,
- Letters from employers, and
- Letters from friends and family as well.
We submit these letters to the court to show the judge that you are a productive member of society, that you care about your life and career, and that you have the support of others in the community. An attorney needs to show the judge that you have rehabilitated your life, take full responsibility for your actions, and have learned from your mistakes. Every single word in an expungement motion is essential. For an attorney to know which judge the motion is going to heard in front of, what prosecutor will be arguing against it, and how many of these motions are on calendar that day is an advantage that you could never have doing this yourself.
What Are The Benefits of Expunging My Record?
California is unique in that there are laws that protect individuals who have had their cases dismissed. California Labor Code section 432.7 says that an employer cannot ask an individual about an arrest that did not end in a conviction. They cannot ask about a participation in a diversion program and they are told within the labor code that they cannot even look into situations like this. If the employer does that, it could be grounds for a violation of the labor code and a potential lawsuit.
Employment law surrounding this code even goes so far to say that if an employer accidentally learns about this information then they still cannot use that information for the purposes or hiring, firing, promoting or terminating an employee. Almost all employers in California follow this standard and therefore put on their job applications, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime (Do not include any dismissals, diversion programs or penal code 1203.4).” PC 1203.4 is referring to an expungement. If your case has been expunged/dismissed then you can put “no” on the application. That is a very powerful tool for the potential employee to use. An expungement attorney can help you through this process.
How Are Expungements Granted?
Expungements can be granted directly by motion or they can require a hearing. A hearing means that the individual or their attorney will have to go in front of the judge and explain to them why they believe this motion should be granted. You don’t have want to have to go through this on your own. If you want to get your record expunged call expungement attorney Alex Ozols, an experienced courtroom litigator who is an expert in this area of law.
Expungement Attorney: Reduction of a Felony to a Misdemeanor
This process is done pursuant to Penal Code 17(b) and it usually requires a written motion. This can be done without a lawyer but it is usually a good idea to get an experienced criminal lawyer who knows the judge and the courtroom to help with this process. Often letters of recommendation or letters from an employer are provided to the judge so they can better asses the situation.
Felony cases are often wobblers, which means that they could have been charged as a misdemeanor. If you were charged with a wobbler, you can seek to have the charges reduced to a misdemeanor. The way to know whether an offense is a wobbler or not is to (1) look at the penal code, and then (2) look at the section called “punishment.” If the code says that it could be punishable by prison “or by a term of not less than 365 days in jail,” then you know it is a wobbler.
Call An Experienced San Diego Expungement Lawyer Today
If you want more information on how to get charges expunged, call San Diego expungement attorney Alex Ozols today for a free consultation.