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San Fernando Valley Expungement Attorney

The criminal charge on your record has made it difficult to obtain a career, or a professional license, and is holding you back from a successful future. You’ve paid your fines, completed community service, & you are a different person, now.

It’s time to move forward in the right direction, and take steps to remove the criminal charge from your record. So, how do you start the process?

San Fernando Valley Expungement Attorney

The key to success with an Expungement in the San Fernando Valley is to determine the most direct approach for the case. The starting point begins with determining your eligibility options.

Can My Case Be Expunged?

San Fernando Valley expungement eligibility is generally dictated by Penal Code section 1203.4, which allows for most misdemeanor and felony charges to be expunged if certain conditions are met. Even “Realignment” cases are now generally eligible for expungement.

You will need to speak to a San Fernando Valley Expungement Lawyer to determine if your case is suitable and eligible. Your attorney will evaluate these four steps to determine if you are eligible for expungement as a “matter of right.”

Expungement will depend on individual case history, facts, and law, and depend on answers to the next four questions.

  1. Have you successfully completed probation?
  2. Are you serving another sentence?
  3. Do you have any pending cases?
  4. Have you paid all victim restitution?

You must have also paid full victim restitution which has been ordered by the judge to be eligible for expungement. (See the People v. Covington case.)

What if I have not met all 4 requirements?

You may still be eligible for expungement, even if you have not met the above requirements. Two additional possibilities may apply to your case.

Were you discharged early from probation?

This is an interesting option, which may be available.

In the People v. Hawley case from California, the court indicated that an expungement must be granted if the period of probation was cut short by the judge, if the charge was otherwise eligible for expungement, and the person did not receive a state prison sentence.

However, a California case, People v. Johnson, which indicates that expungements in early probation termination cases are only available if probation was terminated early for “good conduct” or “excuse.”

Because of this split in the law, your attorney should carefully evaluate the options for your case.

Judge’s Discretion/Interests of Justice

This is an option for someone who did not comply with all of the terms of probation. For example, if you did not complete your community service on time, or failed to appear in court to pay your fine on the completion date, you would not be eligible for expungement as a “matter of right.”

This situation will require your attorney to convince the judge that it is in the interests of justice to grant you an expungement. Your lawyer will need to prepare a thorough written motion, with compelling declarations, substantial information about your rehabilitation, as well as the hardships you will face in the future if the motion is not granted. If the motion is compelling, a judge will grant the motion.

This is also an option if you are requesting a judge to first shorten the period of probation. (pursuant to Penal Code § 1203.3) and then expunge the case.

What are the benefits of a San Fernando Valley Expungement?

There are significant benefits to an expungement. When a judge grants an expungement, the original conviction is set aside, and the case is dismissed, pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. Although the complete history of the case will remain in court records, California law prohibits discrimination by a private employer (other than a government agency) and denying employment because of that case.

State Professional Licensing Agencies are more likely to license a person after an expungement, as well. An expungement opens the door to a new future of productive opportunities.

Call George Kita, today, to find out if your case is eligible for an expungement, at 818-775-9000! If your case is in Los Angeles, you can explore our resources at: Los Angeles Expungement Attorney.