Criminal Record Expungement Lawyer in Oakland
Record Expungement California
At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our Oakland expungement lawyer is passionate about fighting for the criminally accused. If you were arrested or are being investigated for suspicion of criminal activity, it is essential to have someone on your side who can stand up for your rights. Should you choose to hire our firm, you’ll have an accomplished, nationally-renowned defender providing the type of results-based litigation clients need to reclaim their future.
Attorney Ahmed is one of the leading criminal lawyers in Oakland, serving thousands of the criminally-accused throughout the East Bay. His results won him a place on the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100” and a perfect 10.0 Superb rating on Avvo. His accomplishments include winning thousands of cases for his clients, from getting acquittals and dismissals to getting convictions overturned and records sealed or expunged.
What Is an Expungement?
Expungement is a legal process whereby certain convictions can be dismissed and your criminal record cleared- just as if the conviction never took place. A judge will reopen your case, you will enter a new plea of “not guilty” and the judge will dismiss your case. You will then be furnished with a signed order by a California Superior Court judge dismissing your conviction and vacating your case.
It does not mean that your case is being sealed. People mistakenly believe that an expungement means their record is completely erased, but that is not the case. Under Penal Code 1203.4, the criminal record is not fully erased as the term implies. Instead, the conviction remains on your record for many purposes, for example, for immigration consequences and sex offender registration. An expungement will however, show that the case was dismissed. This means that on many, but not all job applications, you can say that you have not been convicted. However, if you’re applying for a government job or a job that requires a security clearance, you must be honest about the conviction and the fact that it was later expunged.
How Does a Criminal Record Affect Me?
Criminal offenses are divided into misdemeanors and felonies, with felonies being the more serious of the two. If you are facing only misdemeanor charges, don’t let the fact that they are minor offenses fool you.
The truth of the matter is that a criminal record has serious consequences that can negatively affect many aspects of a person’s life for years to come. How so?
Criminal records are stigmatized in our society, and can affect one’s ability to:
- Get accepted into certain colleges
- Obtain college scholarships
- Play high school or college sports
- Get certain jobs
- Be accepted into the military
- Get promoted in the military
- Obtain a security clearance
- Get a job where sensitive information is handled
- Work with children
- Obtain a professional license
- Travel to other countries, such as Canada
- Rent an apartment or home
- Obtain sole custody of one’s children
- Work in a government job
- Work with the elderly
- Own a firearm or vote
Given the fact that a criminal record can be virtually crippling to criminal defendants, many convicted criminals in California will apply for an expungement.
How Can I Qualify for Expungement?
The primary qualification is successful completion of probation without any violations, subsequent arrests, or pending charges. Violating your parole certainly makes expungement more complex, but not impossible.
Expungement Eligibility in California
One bad choice or a moment of poor judgment shouldn't have to follow you around forever. If your crime qualifies under California law, you might consider an expungement. Once your felony or misdemeanor California crime is expunged, California Penal Code 1203.4 PC releases you from all penalties and disabilities which arise from the conviction. Employers cannot access the crime when pulling up your criminal history, and are not allowed to ask you about it during an interview.
You could be eligible to expunge your criminal record(s) in the state of California if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense and:
- You were not sentenced to serve time in a California state prison;
- Completed your probation successfully (or obtained early probation termination);
- Have no current criminal charges against you;
- Are not currently on probation for a criminal offense;
- Are not currently serving a sentence for a criminal offense;
- Paid all fines associated with your terms of probation;
- Completed any mandated community service hours or counseling programs, and
- Attended every required court appearance.
Need your record expunged? Call (510) 907-6600 to speak with an expungement attorney in Oakland at the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today.
Crimes That Are Not Eligible for Expungement in CA
There are specific criminal offenses in the state of California, which are not eligible for Expungement. Serious sex offenses committed against a child are not eligible for expungement. If you received a probation violation, you may still be able to apply to have your criminal record expunged. You will appear with your Oakland expungement attorney at a special hearing to determine whether you are otherwise a good candidate for expungement.
What Expungement CAN Do:
- Help you obtain a better job: Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you because you have an expunged criminal record.
- Help you obtain a professional license: With an expunged record, you will be allowed to apply for professional licenses, although you may still have to disclose this conviction to the state licensing board.
- Help you avoid immigration issues: Numerous crimes often result in deportation. If you are eligible to have your criminal record expunged, you could possible avoid this.
What Expungement CANNOT do:
- Erase the conviction
- Overturn driver's license suspensions
- Restore gun rights
- End a duty to register as a sex offender
- Prevent enhanced sentences and/or strikes
- Prevent the conviction from being used against you for immigration removal proceedings
It is important to know that expungement does not simply erase your conviction. Others can still access this information by performing a background check.
Can I Have a Felony Expunged or Reduced?
Yes. But not all felony convictions are eligible for expungement. If you served time in a California state prison, you cannot have your conviction expunged. If you have a conviction for a wobbler- a crime that can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor- the felony conviction can typically be reduced to a misdemeanor.
What Are the Benefits to Expunging a Conviction?
There are many benefits to obtaining a California expungement. Most notably, these benefits include helping you secure a new or better job. Employers cannot discriminate against you for involvement in an arrest that did not result in a conviction, or for having a conviction expunged. Additionally, you may be able to avoid deportation if you are an immigrant.
How Long Does an Expungement Take in California?
Many times, your petition can be prepared and filed within 48 hours. Depending on how quickly the court works, it generally takes about 45 days to receive a ruling.
How Much Does an Expungement Cost?
The fee varies depending on the county in which you were convicted and whether or not you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. Financial assistance is available to those who may need it.
To begin the expungement of your record, get in touch with an experienced Oakland expungement lawyer at Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed. We are here for you -- call (510) 907-6600.
After Expungement Will I Be Able to Say “No” When Asked if I Have a Criminal Record?
In most cases, yes. On job applications for private employers, you will be able to say you’ve never had a conviction. Expungement will have no effect on applications submitted for state license and certain government jobs, including working as a peace officer, holding public office, and jobs with the California Lottery Commission.
What Are the Limitations of a California Expungement?
An expungement will not overturn a driver’s license suspension or revocation, and will still allow a DUI conviction to count as a “strike” against your record. An expungement will not restore your gun rights or affect your obligation to register as a sex offender. An experienced California expungement attorney can suggest other forms of post-conviction relief for certain crimes.
Begin Moving Forward Today
While an expungement cannot hide your conviction from government bodies, it can improve your quality of life in many ways. In the legal system, an expungement shows the courts, future employers, and the public that you are making a good faith effort to take full responsibility for your actions and move on with your life.
Even after people have served their time or completed everything the state has required of them, their “debt” to society continues to collect interest. People with arrest records or convictions can’t find jobs, can’t get good housing, and are forced into a corner. It’s unjust and unfair.
At the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our Oakland expungement attorneys has helped numerous individuals and families throughout the Bay Area gain their freedom again after a criminal conviction. Through record expungement, our lawyer can help you put the past behind you so you can focus on your future. We proudly help clients in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Concord, and the surrounding areas!
"Huge Help to Me and My Family"Nabiel was able to negotiate a great plea and avoid serious charges. This was especially important since we were looking at significant charges despite this being a first offense.- Alex G.
"Better Than Expected Result"Mr. Ahmed did his thing to make sure I did not spend one day in jail! His ability to explain everything along the way really helped through this stressful episode.- Francisco C.
"Understands and Has Great Communication"He worked hard and diligently while going the extra mile. He was patient and caring during my ordeal and even followed up and checked on me afterwards.- Adarice
"I recommend Nabiel over the rest!"Mr Ahmed is a very knowledgeable attorney. He went above and beyond to help me with my case. He also gave me sound advice and went over my options.- Marshall