Knowing Where to Turn for Quality Legal Assistance
As more and more employers choose to conduct background checks on prospective employees, our criminal records are more visible than ever. Online criminal background checks make viewing your past convictions easy and convenient for almost anyone who wants to see them. If you have a criminal history, you may have considered trying to clean your record. If you've done some online research, you may have noticed there are so-called online record cleaning services that do not require any office visits. The price is usually deceptively low and the expected results may seem too good to be true. You may get the results you want, that is, they may be effective in cleaning your record, but it most likely won't be a matter of simply making a phone call and paying a fee.
It is important to know that even if a service claims they are online, it is still likely a law firm with actual attorneys behind the scenes. They may not require you meet them in person, meaning you can do most of the process online or over the phone. This may not yield the quickest results. If you have questions, it may take a while for an attorney to get back to you. Also, some of the firms that offer record cleaning services operate like a mill. They handle a large volume of cases, but quantity can't always ensure quality. Sometimes it is best to sit down with an actual attorney and discuss your case. Even just one meeting can help the whole process be a little more efficient. Also, be aware of services that are not handled by actual attorneys. These services usually just help you gather the information and prepare the paperwork you need to file with the court. This is a valuable service, but they won't be there to help you with the hearings or if your petition is denied. They also cannot give you legal advice. Both of these kinds of services may help, but they may not yield quick results, and they may not be successful.
To get a misdemeanor conviction dismissed, you have to file a petition with the court. The petition will require details from your conviction and some other supportive evidence. Basically, the court wants to see that you have completed the requirements of your sentencing, served your debt to society, and have been rehabilitated from your criminal ways. Character witnesses, proof of completion of counseling programs or therapy, and evidence that you have enrolled in school or earned a diploma can all help paint this picture. This is the ideal scenario.
If you have not fulfilled the requirements of your sentencing, are still on probation, have a felony conviction, or have done little to improve yourself since your conviction, you may face more adversity in the process. It doesn't mean it is hopeless, but it is important to keep in mind that your petition can be denied. The court will only dismiss a conviction if it is in the interest of justice. Results can't always be guaranteed. To have the best chance at success, you should understand the eligibility requirements and the steps you need to take to have your conviction dismissed.
Cleaning your criminal record does work. For those who are successful, they may be able to answer truthfully on an employment application they have never been convicted of a crime. This can dramatically improve your chances of getting that job you want, and this can be life changing. For those applying to housing, their prospective landlord may view them in a more favorable light if they do not have any convictions appear on their record. Housing is a big problem in some parts of California. Rising costs make it hard enough to find housing, and having a criminal conviction against you makes it an even tougher battle. There are many other benefits of cleaning your record. The process can be complicated, however, and does require some legal knowledge. Where you turn for help can mean the difference between your petition being granted or denied. Be choosy about whom you get help from; many services want your money, but not all can get you results. I'd advise you to meet with an attorney in person before you pay for any services. Ask them about the process and about their experience handling expungements. An experienced attorney will give you a better chance at having your petition granted.
Do you want to clean your California criminal record? California attorney Christopher Martens knows California criminal defense and can advise you on how to get your conviction dismissed. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, Mr. Martens has handled thousands of cases and has taken over 50 to trial. Attorney Christopher Martens has the skills and knowledge needed to defend your rights. Serving the Visalia and Fresno areas, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can provide expert criminal defense counsel. Call our office at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.