A misdemeanor conviction in Oakland can interfere with your ability to secure employment, find housing, and cause other complications. However, it does not necessarily have to wreak havoc with your life forever. A process called “expungement,” under California penal code 1203.4, can remove a misdemeanor conviction from your record and enable you to move forward with your life.
Through the expungement process, you will be allowed to petition the court to have your criminal case reopened, get the conviction dismissed, and then ask the court to close the case. To qualify for expungement, you must show that you have fully satisfied the court’s sentence, that you have not been charged with another offense, that you are not serving another sentence, and that the court entered the judgement in your case at least one year ago.
To initiate the procedure you must first obtain a copy of your criminal record from the court or the California Department of Justice. You must next submit the Judicial Council form, “Petition for Dismissal” (CR-180). It might be beneficial to also submit form MC-030, allowing you to explain why certain circumstances in your life necessitate the expungement.
You must file the expungement petition in the county where you were convicted. Generally, the cost of the court filing fee is about $60-$120. If, however, you are unable to pay, you may complete a request to Waive Court Fees Form (Form FW-001).
There are some things misdemeanor expungement in California cannot do. For instance:
- Expungement cannot remove the arrest and charges
- Expungement cannot overturn a license revocation for a DUI offense
- Expungement won’t always prevent the conviction from being used as priors to exacerbate sentencing
Additionally, you cannot expunge any serious sex crimes against children or any conviction which mandated that you serve your time in state prison. Those who have served in California state prison are not eligible for expungement. They are required to apply for a Governor’s pardon or a certificate of rehabilitation.
After expungement, the information that shows up on a background check will be reliant on what kind of background check was performed. Standard commercial background checks do not typically reveal the case or the conviction. Your California Department of Justice report will indicate there was a case in the past. The report will, however, also show that your case was dismissed and that no conviction exists on your record.
If you wish to have your record expunged, you need the help of an experienced Oakland expungement lawyer. At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, we are ready to help you do exactly that. Contact our firm to discuss your case.