LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Edward Calvelo Pamintuan | Aug 23, 2013

Criminal Record Expungements in California - Penal Code 1203.4 Expungements

Having a criminal record can affect your career and your reputation in the community. Using the law to expunge your criminal record can help you take back control of your life so you can leave the past behind and continue to move forward. In this competitive job market, getting an expungement can make you more marketable to potential employers.

Advantages of Criminal Record Expungement Under 1203.4

A criminal record expungement under Penal Codes 1203.4 can:

  • Result in a new entry in the court record showing a “dismissal" in your case.
  • Allow you to answer on many job applications that you have not been convicted of a crime.
  • Allow you to tell your friends and family that you have not been convicted of a crime.
  • Allow you to join certain professional organizations.

Also, an expungement may reduce the weight given to the conviction by a government agency that seeks to refuse or revoke government licenses such as, real estate sales licenses, teaching credentials, bus drivers licenses, security guard certificates, etc. based upon the prior conviction. In addition, if the crime was a felony, obtaining an expungement is the first step in obtaining a governors pardon.

Moreover, many crimes are eligible for criminal expungement. Crimes not eligible for expungement are listed further below.

Penal Code Section 1203.4 Expungement – Felonies and Misdemeanors – Probation Granted

In California, where a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire term of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of probation or in any other case in which a court, in its discretion and the interests of justice, determines that a defendant should be granted the relief of an expungement, the defendant shall, at any time after the termination of the period of probation, if the criminal defendant is not serving a sentence for any crime, on probation for any crime, or charged and accused with the commission of any crime, be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or no contest and enter a plea of not guilty.

If the criminal defendant was convicted by a judge or jury after a plea of not guilty, the court must set aside the verdict of guilty.

In either case, the court MUST dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant. Also, in either case, the defendant must have been granted probation.

Limitations of Criminal Record Expungement Under 1203.4

  • It does not affect any revocation or suspension of the driving privilege of the person convicted. Such person’s prior conviction shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of revoking or suspending or otherwise limiting such privilege on the ground of two or more convictions. V.C. 13555.
  • It does not relieve a defendant’s obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.
  • It does not permit a person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm or ammunition, if that right was taken away.
  • It does not completely clear your criminal record; California and FBI records will still show your convictions and later dismissal “pursuant to Section 1203.4″.
  • It does not prevent the conviction from being used as a “prior" or “strike prior" to increase punishment on a subsequent conviction;
  • It does not seal or remove the court case file.
  • It does not prevent the conviction from being used by Immigration and Naturalization Services for removal and exclusion purposes.

Crimes not Eligible for Expungement Under 1203.4

  • Any conviction for willfully failing or refusing to comply with a lawful order, signal, or direction of a peace officer, fire department member or traffic officer, insofar as it affects a failure to stop and submit to inspection of equipment or for an unsafe condition endangering a person. V.C. 42002.1
  • Any conviction for sodomy where:

    • the victim was under 14 years old and was more than 10 years younger than the defendant at the time of commission of the crime; or
    • where the sodomy was accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person; or
    • the victim was under 14 years of age and the act was accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person; or
    • where the victim was a minor and the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person. P.C. 286(c)
  • Any conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child. P.C. 288

  • Any conviction for oral copulation where:

    • the victim was under 14 years old and was more than 10 years younger than the defendant at the time of commission of the crime; or
    • where the oral copulation was accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person; or
    • the victim was under 14 years of age and the oral copulation was accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person; or
    • where the victim was a minor and the oral copulation is accomplished against the victim’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person. P.C. 288a(c)
  • Any conviction for continuous sexual abuse of a child. P.C. 288.5

  • Any conviction for sexual penetration with another person who was under 14 years of age and who was more than 10 years younger than the defendant at the time of commission of the crime. P.C. 289(j)

  • Any conviction for statutory rape where at the time of commission of the crime the defendant was 21 years of age or older and the victim was under 16 years of age. P.C. 261.5(d)

  • Vehicle Code Infractions

Crimes Eligible For Discretionary Expungement in the Interest of Justice Under 1203.4

The court may, in it’s discretion, and in the interests of justice order the expungement of the conviction of the following crimes – V.C. 12810:

  • Any conviction for failure to stop in the event of an accident.
  • DUI
  • DUI Offender Under 21 Years Old
  • Driving While Licence Revoked or Suspended
  • Reckless Driving
  • Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated
  • Vehicular Manslaughter
  • Evading a Police Officer in a Reckless Manner while Driving
  • Evading a Police Officer Causing Injury or Death
  • Making a left turn, u-turn or semicircle upon a divided highway
  • Driving a vehicle on a highway in excess of 100 mph
  • Engaging in a Motor Vehicle Speed Contest
  • Engaging in or aiding and abetting an Exhibition of Speed
  • Engaging in a Motor Vehicle Speed Contest that Results in Certain Specified Injuries
  • Transporting Explosives in a Motor Vehicle Without a License or on a Highway Not Designated For the Transportation of Explosives.
  • Stopping a Vehicle Transporting Explosives in an Area Not Designated For Stopping of Such Vehicles

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding Criminal Record Expungements contact the Law Office of Edward Pamintuan. The Law Office of Edward Pamintuan can help you leave the past behind and continue moving forward by using a 1203.4 expungement to dismiss your prior conviction.

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