Many people do things they later regret. Whether it is the small things which everyone else quickly forgets or the bigger things which follow you around for years, just about everyone has something they wish they could undo. The person you were ten years ago might not be the person you are today. Unfortunately for some people, these mistakes might be more than just an annoyance. Serious mistakes might prevent you from getting a job or even renting an apartment. Whether you got involved with drugs as a young adult, have a domestic violence charge which is several years old, have a DUI, or you have committed another misdemeanor or felony, but you have since served your time and worked to improve your life, what happened in the past should not limit your future possibilities.
If you have faced being judged unfairly for your past, you might be wondering if you can have what happened years ago removed from your criminal record so you can get beyond what you did years ago. For some people, expungement, or a sealing of your criminal records, is possible. There are a few conditions for this to take place, though. First, you must have completed all your probation for the crime and paid all restitution for it. You must also not currently be charged for another crime. If you are still on probation, it is important to fulfill your probation requirements so you can eventually work towards expungement.
It is important to know an expungement does not completely eliminate the crime from your record, but the conviction will be changed to a dismissal. As long as you do not commit that same crime after your expungement, you can then answer that you have not been convicted of that specific crime. Certain crimes such as murder, rape, and serious weapons charges cannot be expunged from your record, though.
An expungement also will not undo a driver's license suspension or revocation or end your sexual offender registration. According to Penal Code 1203.4:
Dismissal of an accusation or information pursuant to this section does not permit a person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm or prevent his or her conviction under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) of Division 9 of Title 4 of Part 6.
Penal Code 29800 deals with felony convictions related to drug and firearms charges. Because we understand it can sometimes be difficult to understand whether you might qualify for expungement, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about what is required to make this a possibility for you.