Expunging your criminal record in California.
A simple guide to getting your record cleared.
Who is eligible to have a conviction expunged?Expungement is available to defendants convicted of either California misdemeanors or felonies provided that:
The defendant has successfully completed probation for the offense, and the defendant either:
Did not serve time in state prison for the offense, or served time in state prison, but would have served it in county jail had the crime been committed after implementation of "Realignment" under Proposition 47.1.
Note that the California Department of Justice will review and seal all past marijuana convictions that are no longer considered crimes now that recreational marijuana is legal. This process should be done by July 1, 2020. See California Assembly Bill 1793 (2018).
What does an expungement accomplish?Under Penal Code 1203.4, an expungement releases an individual from virtually "all penalties and disabilities" arising out of the conviction. As it is, California law bars employers from asking about a job applicant's criminal record until there is a conditional offer of employment. But once a conviction has been expunged, it does not have to be disclosed to an employer even after the employer makes a conditional offer of employment.
Who is not eligible for an expungement in California?People are not eligible for expungement if they: are currently charged with a criminal offense,
are on probation for a criminal offense or are serving a sentence for a criminal offense.
A person is also not eligible for expungement if convicted of certain sex crimes involving children.
People who are not eligible for an expungement may be able to get relief for their offenses through:
A Certificate of Rehabilitation and/or California governor's pardon, or commutation of a California prison sentence.