Today, a person can easily be discriminated against for a past criminal conviction, no matter how minor the offense. Potential employers, landlords, and licensing offices may hesitate to give you the job, apartment, or license if they discover you have a criminal past. Unfortunately, this puts decent California citizens who have made mistakes in the past at a great disadvantage in life. Some of these people with criminal histories may be able to take steps to get their conviction dismissed through the expungement process, however, the eligibility requirements are limiting.
There are many requirements you must meet to be eligible for an expungement in California. These vary from case to case, but no matter what your situation is, you cannot petition for an expungement of one conviction if you are facing other criminal charges. The basic idea behind the eligibility requirements is that you must demonstrate to the court that you have been reformed from your criminal ways and you have paid your debt to society. This isn't as simple as fulfilling the terms of your sentence; you must demonstrate overall that you have had no other run-ins with the law and are living a lawful life.
If you are eager to dismiss a conviction but are facing criminal charges for another offense, you may want to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are convicted of another offense, your chances of having your past conviction dismissed will drop significantly. You may have to wait longer and do more to prove you are worthy of an expungement. The charges you are currently facing will demonstrate to the court that you have not reformed your ways and are not following the law.
If you want the best chance of being granted a dismissal of your past conviction, it would be wise to try to fight your current criminal charges. A skilled California criminal defense attorney may be able to help you strategize a defense for your case. If your case is dismissed, you will not lose your eligibility to petition for an expungement of a past conviction. If you are convicted of a current offense, you will no longer be eligible to petition for an expungement of that past conviction for some time.
The best way to move on from your criminal past is to be a law-abiding citizen. After a conviction, you should live according to the law as best you can to avoid jeopardizing your future chances at cleaning your record. With multiple criminal convictions on your record, it can be hard to convince a judge you deserve to have any one of them dismissed. The court has discretion when it comes to granting dismissals. If cannot demonstrate on paper that you are deserving of the dismissal, your chances are very low. Unfortunately, subsequent criminal convictions can hurt your chances of ever cleaning your record.
Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn't have to mean you lose all chances at a dismissal. If you are convicted of a current offense, you will have to wait until you have fulfilled the requirements of your sentencing and are no longer on probation for that offense before you can petition for an expungement of your past offense. If this sounds complicated to you, you are not alone. Petitioning for an expungement can be difficult if you aren't familiar with the process or have not spoken to an attorney. The court gets to decide whether you are worthy of a dismissal, so it is best to have an attorney on your side when you begin the process.
Consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges but want to have a past conviction dismissed. An expungement can provide many benefits that will lessen the chance you will face discrimination when applying for jobs or housing. In many cases, this alone is reason enough to invest the time and resources into obtaining an expungement. An attorney can advise you on how to handle your case so you can dismiss your previous conviction as soon as possible. This may mean you have to wait longer, but an attorney can advise you on what steps you need to complete to be eligible.
If you have questions about expungement eligibility, call experienced Visalia area criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can advise you on how to expunge a conviction on your record as soon as you can. Attorney Martens has practiced criminal defense for over ten years and knows how to restore your dignity. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.