To the general public, the distinction between an expungement and a pardon might seem insignificant. However, to someone who is seeking a normal life after a criminal offense, the differences—and their consequences—are far-reaching, especially when explained by a seasoned professional like leading Sacramento expungement attorney Michael Chastaine. For instance, an online article published by legal education portal LegalFlip.com highlighted the most important characteristic of an expungement:
If a person receives an expungement, he or she may usually treat the crime that was expunged as if it never occurred. For example, a person would generally not have to list the expunged crime on a job application. But each jurisdiction treats expungements differently. That means sometimes the expunged crimes are not treated as if they disappeared. There are some exceptions where expunged crimes must be listed on job applications…
An “Expungement” under California Penal Code section 1203.4 makes exceptions for professional licensing, law enforcement and working for the lottery. To those agencies, the conviction and fact that it was dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4 must be disclosed.
In general, an expungement seals the record of an arrest or a conviction from public record; thus, the person does not need to list the event on public documents unless specifically asked to do so by authorities. This makes the process an attractive option for those embroiled in DUI/DWI cases, particularly if they have no previous criminal records. Without an expungement, a conviction can make it difficult for one to seek employment, apply for further education in a university, or adopt a child.
A pardon, on the other hand, can only be granted by Executive authorities such as state governors or the President of the United States. A pardon is very rarely granted and is not reviewable by the courts.
A Sacramento criminal record expungement attorney, such as a professional from The Chastaine Law Office, can help persons who are looking to clear their records. The assistance of these legal specialists may allow a client to tell authorities and—most importantly—prospective employers that he or she does not have a criminal record. This helps people gain peace of mind and get their lives back on track even after a conviction.