Misdemeanors include those criminal offenses punishable by a jail sentence of up to 1 year and fines. Basic misdemeanors such as petty theft carry a shorter sentence, while serious misdemeanors like domestic battery carry a complete one-year sentence. Misdemeanors are generally tried before a jury and require that the offender be represented.
California offers offenders a fresh start after they are convicted of a misdemeanor, provided they complete the probation and all sentence requirements. California’s Penal Code under Section 1203.4 allows an offender to petition the court to expunge a misdemeanor conviction from the offender’s record. This generally entails reversing the original conviction, which frees the offender from being considered a convict of the said misdemeanor and changes the criminal record to show a dismissal instead of a misdemeanor conviction.
In simpler terms, an expungement will enable an offender to increase their marketability on the job and rental applications. They are released from the obligation of carrying the conviction with them for the rest of their lives. If you don’t already understand the full benefits of getting an expungement, our article on 5 Benefits of Getting A California Expungement should help.
Eligibility for a misdemeanor expungement
Penal Code 1203.4 sets out the following factors:
- Where a person was charged in a state court and not a federal court
- The sentence passed did not entail going to prison.
- Successful completion of probation or one year lapse since conviction date
- Satisfaction of all the sentence requirements such as payment of fines and restitution, completion of mandatory programs, community service and classes, etc
- At the time of making the petition for expungement, the person is not being charged with another criminal offense; neither is he on probation or serving a sentence for another criminal offense.
The process of getting an expungement is much easier when you have a lawyer by your side. For instance, infractions can be expunged within 6 to 12 weeks if you have a great attorney. Hiring the services of an experienced criminal defense firm like Expunge Hero can help expedite the expungement process or even guarantee a successful petition. Call us now at (323)529-3660 to discuss your options and for the chance at a fresh start in life.