Completing an application? A common occurrence, whether for school, new employment, advancement in employment, loans, and so forth. Then the question appears, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?" So vague and unassuming, you just want to put "no" and move on, but should you... or will that DUI, drug issue, bar fight, or other mishap from decades ago show up right when you least need to be reminded of that indiscretion. Clean your record once and for all. There are various terms for cleaning your record, but the most common choice is a Motion to Expunge made under Penal Code section 1203.4. Terminology may be used such as sealing a record, which only occurs if the indiscretion occurred as a juvenile, or a Pardon, which only occurs if the person went to prison. Most, however, will need a Motion to Expunge. This process takes place after a person has completed all of the terms of probation, and where a felony conviction occurred, after the felony has been reduced to a misdemeanor. The Judge will then allow the convicted person to withdraw their plea of guilty or finding of guilt, and the Judge will then dismiss the case against them. Some charges do not qualify for an expungement such as a few vehicle code violations and some sex offenses. Other terms of the plea will not disappear such as driver's license conditions and the inability to possess a firearm. In addition, if you are completing a government or state application, an expungement will not seal the record for those eyes and you must disclose the previous conviction. However, for the most part, a record may be completely expunged, and when asked if you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction, you can simply put "no".
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