After serving a sentence for a criminal offence, most individuals are excited for the opportunity to start afresh. More often than not, though, the real situation is a very tough for ex-convicts. It may be hard for them to move into a new neighborhood and find employment because they are being profiled for their criminal record.

There may be a way to make things easier, however. In California, specifically, there is a recognized legal way to clean up a person’s criminal record. To explore this option, you would want to talk to a criminal record expungement attorney in Sacramento.

Expungement Defined

In a nutshell, this process of expungement legally sets aside your conviction and dismisses the charges. The process entailed for the state of California, however, is a bit more different than in other states.

What expungement here means is that your case will be reopened, the guilty plea or verdict will be withdrawn, and then the charges become dismissed. So basically, it’s the court saying that while a case for a criminal offense was indeed filed against you, the same was later dismissed. Instead of the record of conviction, a new disposition will be produced, which then characterizes your case as having been dismissed “in the interests of Justice.”

Expungement Qualifications

Not everyone can ask the courts for an expungement. There are certain requirements and qualifications that must first be met.

Completed or No Probation – If you were sentenced to a probation and have completed it, then you can file for an expungement of most misdemeanor or felony convictions. The same principle applies if you were sentenced without probation.

Continuing Probation – If you have not finished your probation yet, but would like to seek expungement, then you will first have to file for a termination of the probation. The court will then have to determine whether or not to grant you this petition. You cannot move forward with your petition for expungement until your probation is terminated.

Felony Conviction and State Prison – These two elements together basically render you ineligible for an expungement. A felony conviction and a sentencing to state prison would require you to seek pardon or a certification of rehabilitation. The other scenario where this will apply is if you were put directly under the authority of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

Other requirements may include complete payment of fines and restitution, community service completion, and counseling. Due to the intricacies involved you should seek legal help from a knowledgeable and experienced Sacramento expungement lawyer, so you will find the right solution you need.