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How can a person expunge a record.

Lancaster, CA |

I have a felony for drug charge in ca. Seven yrs. Old i am trying to get a job. At the school and need to pass background

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Attorney answers 5


"expungement" is governed by the Penal Code, section 1203.4. It's a petition you file with the court and give proper notice to the prosecuting agency. The matter is then set for a hearing. If granted, the Dept of Justice will be notified and your record will reflect the action. Beware that the "expungement" will not erase the conviction from your DOJ record. It will simply add a new entry which will read that you withdrew your guilty or no contest plea and then a new plea of not guilty was entered and the case was dismissed. Also, beware that there are some exceptions to when you can lawfully answer you have not been convicted on an application. They are spelled out in 1203.4 of the Penal Code.


You can expunge a conviction, under certain conditions, but whether that will help you get the job is another story. The expungement process does not completely remove a conviction. You should consult with a lawyer who can help you prepare the petition and advise you as to what effect the expungement will have and how you should answer questions for school and job applications.


Go to the court clerk's office and ask for a petition to dismiss. The cost is in the $50.00 range. You can file it yourself, but I suggest you use the services of a lawyer to argue it in court because it is a felony and those are harder to get granted. Best of luck. LAW OFFICES OF VICTORIA CLEMANS, OWNER (310) 803-9111.

This is a general statement regarding law and facts and should not be construed as an attorney-client relationship or a solicitation for same.


Depends what you mean by expungement. If you mean sealing or destroying your records so no one can see it, that's not available. A true expungement is only available if the charges were dropped or you were acquitted at trial. Even then you would most likely have to file a motion for a finding of factual innocence. Now if you want to have your charges dismissed pursuant to PC 1203.4, but with the understanding that the file still available for public viewing, that might be possible. Under a PC 1203.4, your guilty or no contest plea is withdrawn, a not guilty plea entered and the case dismissed and that is exactly how it will show up on your records. Most people do it themselves, although with a felony you might have to take the additional step of filing a PC 17b motion to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor and then have it dismissed.

The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.


Provided you have completed all of the terms of probation without any probation violations, you simply have to make the motion to the court and it should get granted. Because it was a felony, you may want to retain an attorney to make the motion and go to court with you and make sure it gets done properly. There are forms at the court clerk's office if you want to try and do it yourself. I believe the cost is between $60 and $120, depending on the County you are in.

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