California Expungement Attorneys
What happens after you’ve fully paid your debt to society?
After you’ve been charged and convicted of a crime and the probation you’ve been sentenced to has already been fully served. What happens next? You’ve fully paid your debt to society for violating its laws. Will you now be willingly received back into society with open arms as though nothing had happened? You wish; sadly, this is not the case.
Every job application form you fill out asks you is you’ve been convicted of a crime. You have to truthfully declare that you’ve served your probation for a misdemeanour or a felony that is not so serious or violent. You probably won’t get the job you applied for because of that one question. Perhaps you’ve turned over a new leaf and you decided to go back to school, earn a degree and work as a professional. You want to get a license or certification. That same question is asked in the application form. You truthfully answer that you’ve already served the probation you were sentenced with. You won’t get the license or certification you wanted. Maybe you want to start a business and you want to apply for a business license. The same question will come up and your application will probably be turned down as well. You can’t get a break, huh?
It isn’t fair since you’ve paid your due. The fact of conviction should not be taken against you anymore. You’ve served out your sentence and you’ve turned over a new leaf. Why can’t you get a break? Why can’t you go back to the status you enjoyed prior to your conviction now that you are once more a law abiding citizen?
There is hope for you yet through an expungement proceeding. An expungement petition filed in court, when granted, can allow you to withdraw the plea of guilt or nolo contendere you entered; or it can dismiss the plea of not guilty. An expungement order can also dismiss the accusation or information filed against you and the effect is to release you from all the disabilities and penalties attached to a conviction.
This means that while employers and licensing officers can still ask you point-blank if you’ve been convicted of a crime, you can now answer that the conviction has been withdrawn. The employer or licensing officer will not be able to find your criminal records for these will be sealed. They will be able to see the fact that your past conviction has been withdrawn and that makes a difference. You will now be evaluated fairly based on your competency and fitness for the job or license and not on whether or not you’ve been convicted. You can no longer be turned down for a job or license you applied for merely on the basis of a prior conviction that’s been fully served out.
There is a catch, though: you cannot apply for a license to own, possess or carry a gun. In the event you are rearrested for any other crime, the prior conviction can be pleaded against you as though it had not been dismissed. The expungement will work to make the penalty heavier if you are subsequently convicted after re-arrest.
The first requirement is for you to secure copies of your criminal records. For this, you will need to go to the court docket and get a copy of your file. You will need a certification stating that you have duly served out your probation sentence and that your probation has been terminated. You must also state under oath that you are not currently serving sentence for any other offense or that you are not probation for any other offense. You must also give valid reasons why your case falls under the cases eligible for expungement. You must give evidence that you have been totally changed by the experience and that you are ready to return to the status of a law-abiding citizen.
You can file the petition for expungement yourself or you can hire a lawyer to represent you. The lawyer can draw up the petition for you. He can present the evidence in your behalf and appear in court as your representative to make the case for you. You need to contact an experienced expungement lawyer, one who has the skill, training and experience in handling expungement cases. Call an expungement lawyer now.
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