Skip to main content

How do i get a misdemeanor off my record

Maywood, CA |

I plead no contest to a misdemeanor for welfare fraud in 2007 and the court attorney I had didn't want to help me. He just said pay the over payment or go to jail. I had received over payments of a.f.d.c. due to information I was given from the DA's office and my file was red flagged five years prior to the investigation. My file sat on a workers desk for five years before they found out that the paper work was being filled out wrong, why did it take so long? I feel as thou the system has failed me, if the workers would have done their jobs and got on my case right away this would have never happened. Now I have this over my head and can't get a good job due to this misdemeanor of fraud on my record. Is there anything I can do to get off my record. PLEASE HELP ME SOME ONE

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


If the case was a misdemeanor and if it was in California and if you successfully completed court or formal probation you may petition the court of original jurisdiction and judgement (sentence) to terminate your probation if it has not run or if it has expired .Petition the court by paying a filing fee with the clerk of the rendering court and filing a petition persuant to Penal Code 1204 if an adult or 1203.4 if a minor but not a juvenile and if you meet the criteria of finishing all the conditions of probation and you have no other serious convictions prior or subsequent to sentencing the court will set aside(erase to a degree) your plea and expunging it. You must give written notice of the petition to the DA and probation and file proof of service on them with the clerk in you petition . That is get a copy of printed petition at clerks office fill it out and file it and take or mail it to the DA and probation. You can also get a printed copy of petition by searching internet under "expungement" and read what expungement will and will not do for you. Many vehicle code setions are partially excluded by section 13555 of the vehicle code.Mel Gibson recently did this successfully as to a dui so google "expunge conviction" and read his and other stories and law. There are law firms that specialize in "clearing record"..I believe "clearing criminal records' will take you to their sites for info and contact or employment. In some counties the probation or public defenders may help you with the paper is easy check the box type petition.


Expungement for any misdeanor depends if you are off probation ,etc. It's the same as for a DUI:

Expungement is a legal process that petitions the Court to review a conviction to determine:

If the term of probation was successfully completed & concluded;
That all fines, restitution and reimbursement ordered by the court have been paid and everything ordered by the court was completed in a timely manner;
That the petitioner is not now on probation for another offense;
That the petitioner has no new pending cases;

The Court then may allow the petitioner to withdraw his or plea or finding of guilt or no contest, and thereafter orders the case dismissed.

How does this help me?

Expungement law (Penal Code Section 1203.4) provides in part:

"[Petitioner shall] permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided..."

What about applying for jobs?

If Private Employers ask if you have every been convicted of a crime, you generally can respond with "NO".
(Each question is different so please first contact an attorney before answering any specific question, in every case and for every form.)
On questions by Government Employers or Government Licensing Applications if you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you must disclose the expunged case.
What doesn't a DUI Expungement do?

Your dismissed DUI conviction can still be used to increase your punishment in future DUI cases. The offense is "priorable".

It can still be used to enhance penalties & increase punishment should you get another DUI.
It can be used to try to put you in jail or increase the length of a DMV suspension.
Does this erase all records and destroy the Court file?

No. An expungement

the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under 1203.4 of the Penal Code. This means the Court file, the California Department of Justice, and the FBI update their files to show the case has been ordered dismissed by the Court.

Will I need to go to Court?

No. I handle all Court work for you.

How Long Does A DUI Expungement Take?

Misdemeanors: Most expungements for misdemeanors take between 4 to 6 weeks to complete from the time the application is filed. This does not include the time needed to research all records and process the application. The more prepared you are as to the information needed (Case number, date of birth, conviction date, probation length, Vehicle Code charge number, and San Diego county court location) the quicker the application can be processed. If it is necessary to search the court records for information, it may take additional time.

Why Expunge my record? Why spend the money?

There are a number of reasons to do so such as employment or licensing. However, at least half our clients want to expunge their record as final "closure" on an old mistake- just for peace of mind.

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware this page is NOT a comprehensive analysis of all expungement law, types of answers to types of questions asked, or of all types of remedies that may be available to you. This is NOT intended to be legal advice, and a consultation with an Attorney is always first recommended and before answering any question.


I'm not as enthusiastic about these so-called "expungements" as some other attorneys, and even less enthusiastic about the law firms that charge big bucks to file simple paperwork.

My old friend Joe V. talks about Mel Gibson's "expungement" of his DUI record, and one Southern California newspaper ran an article titled "'Expungement' is no clean slate." The link appears below.

Under Penal Code §1203.4, a person who is granted probation can apply to have the case dismissed after probation is complete. This is sometimes called an expungement, but it doesn't really expunge anything or seal your record. The conviction is still a part of the court's public records, which will also show the case was dismissed. You still must disclose the conviction when applying to be a police officer or for certain other jobs, or if asked on an application for a state license or to run for public office. It will not remove any restrictions on your right to own a firearm or relieve you of the requirement to register as a sex offender. The conviction can still be considered a prior offense; for instance, a prior theft conviction could make any future petty theft a felony, or a prior DUI conviction could be used to increase the punishment in subsequent DUI convictions.

BEWARE of law firms that promise to "clear your record" and charge thousands of dollars. The process of filing a Penal Code §1203.4 petition is pretty simple, and you can do it yourself with forms available from the court clerk's office, especially if you completed probation without any problems. If you had a probation violation along the way, you may want an attorney's help, but the guys who charge thousands to file simple paperwork will probably overcharge you for that, too.

Applying for a 1203.4 dismissal is usually worth the minimal effort and cost involved, but it isn't the magic bullet some people make it out to be.

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer