A criminal record of any kind — whether for a felony or a misdemeanor — can wreak havoc on your life. You may find it difficult, if not impossible, to get a job, rent an apartment, apply for a loan, or even obtain higher education. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged. Certain requirements must be met, but if your expungement is successful, your criminal record may no longer be available to employers, landlords, and more.
Are You Eligible for an Expungement of a Felony?
Some felony crimes are eligible for an expungement and some are not. Therefore, if you wish to petition for the dismissal of your criminal records, you must not have:
- Sentenced to serve time in a state prison
- Committed new offenses that you are facing charges for
You also must:
- Have completed your probation. In some instances, if your probation is not completed, you can still petition for the dismissal of your records if you prove that doing so would “serve the interests of justice.”
- Paid all restitution to victims and fines related to your sentence
Are You Eligible for an Expungement of a Misdemeanor?
Obtaining an expungement of misdemeanor records is easier, but you must still meet certain requirements, including but not limited to:
- You must not be on probation
- You must have completed all court requirements for your sentencing, including paying all fines and restitution related to your sentence
- No new charges
- A year must have passed since your original conviction
- You must be able to show the court that you are making an attempt to live an honest, crime-free life
Are Any Charges Automatically Not Eligible for Expungement?
There are some crimes that do not qualify for an expungement under any circumstances, including homicide charges, serious drug charges like trafficking, and for some sex crimes, especially sex crimes committed against underage minors.
When to Contact an Attorney
If you’ve been convicted of a crime and have completed most or all of your sentence, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lawyer to learn more about expungement and if your case meets the required criteria to have your criminal records dismissed.
At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we will evaluate your case and let you know where you stand, and if you are eligible for expungement, we’ll work hard to see that your records are dismissed. Contact us today for a consultation at (626) 792-1900.