A criminal record can hinder you from securing a job or even finding an apartment to rent. However, it should not stop you from turning over a new leaf and finding opportunities. Through a legal process known as expungement, you can honestly declare that you’ve had no prior convictions and begin rebuilding your life. A reliable criminal record expungement attorney can guide you through this process.
Learn the Eligibility Requirements
In California, expungement means the reopening of a case, the withdrawal of the guilty plea or verdict, and the dismissal of charges. You may be eligible if you have completed probation. However, you won’t be able to file for an expungement if you’re currently facing a criminal charge or if you’re on probation or serving a sentence.
Usually, courts can clear your record if you’re a first-time offender, a juvenile during the time of conviction, or a drug offender. Those who have been convicted for a misdemeanor and those who already served time can also be eligible. The same goes for those who have been free of offenses for a year after conviction.
File a Petition
If you’re eligible, you can file a petition with the courthouse. There are certain forms you need fill out and you can find them on the court’s website. It would helpful if you attach supporting documents such as proof of rehabilitation completion, character reference letters, or community service certifications. When filing a petition, make sure you meet all the requirements; mistakes may delay the process.
Hire a Lawyer
Law is often complicated and confusing. This is why it’s best to work with an experienced Sacramento expungement lawyer. Your lawyer can determine the best course of action based on your situation and lift the burden off you by handling all the complicated paperwork and speaking before the court on your behalf.
Following this guide will help you clear your criminal record faster and easier. When you expunge your record, you can make a new start. You can honestly answer, “No,” when employers or landlords ask you if you have ever been convicted. They will also not be legally allowed to turn you down based on your criminal history.