Santa Clarita Expungement Attorneys
Expunging a criminal record can give you a fresh start and clean slate, possibly opening up more opportunities for you in the future.
At the Law Office of Gary Symonds, our Santa Clarita attorneys are ready to help you figure out if you qualify for an expungement and, if so, take the right steps to clear your criminal record. As experienced litigators with decades of trial and courtroom experience, our lawyers have the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to help you successfully pursue an expungement – and start the next chapter of your life with a clean record.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is the legal process of sealing a criminal record. Also referred to as expunction or record sealing, an expungement can effectively erase arrests, criminal charges and some criminal convictions from criminal records so that:
- Any future background checks on that person will come back with a clean criminal record – This can be important, for instance, when applying for jobs, professional licenses, loans, government assistance, housing, etc.
- The individual with the expunged record can truthfully and confidently answer “no” when asked if (s)he has a criminal record at any point in the future.
Eligibility for Expungements: Who Qualifies?
Expungements are not available for anyone with a criminal record. In fact, California law sets forth some specific eligibility requirements for expungements.
According to these requirements, expungements are available for people who have been arrested for and/or charged with a crime but were never convicted of that crime (because the charges were dismissed or the person was acquitted of them).
Expungements can also be available for those who were convicted of certain misdemeanor or felony offenses and who, after conviction:
- Successfully fulfilled all of the terms of their court-ordered probation
- Are not facing any new criminal charges or cases
- Are not serving probation (or jail/prison time) for a subsequent criminal offense.
Convictions for DUIs, drug offenses and white collar crimes can all qualify for expungement (so long as the above requirements have been met). In contrast, other criminal convictions – like (but not limited to) the following – will typically not qualify for expungement in California:
How to Pursue an Expungement
The expungement in California generally proceeds as follows:
- The court forms to initiate an expungement request are properly filled out and filed with the court (within the proper timeframe). At this time, any applicable court filing fees must also be paid.1
- The expungement request will be sent to the prosecutor for review.
- An expungement hearing will be set (if it has been determined that the petitioner qualifies for an expungement). The outcome of this hearing will be determined by a judge.
Here, it’s crucial to point out that:
- The above process is specific to expungements for adult criminal records. Different processes can be involved for sealing juvenile criminal records.
- Making mistakes or errors during the expungement process can result in a denial of an expungement petition or request. This fact underscores how crucial it is to have the help of an experienced lawyer when you are ready to expunge your criminal record.
- Expunged criminal records may be unsealed in the future. After a successful expungement, it is possible for criminal records to be unsealed (and become public once again in the future) if someone is subsequently convicted of the same crime. For example, if someone is convicted of a DUI after having a prior DUI record expunged, that prior record can be unsealed so, in the future, any background check would show that the individual has two DUI convictions.
Find Out If You Qualify for an Expungement: Contact a Santa Clarita Expungement Lawyer at the Law Office of Gary Symonds
If you are ready to expunge your criminal record, contact a Santa Clarita expungement lawyer at the Law Office of Gary Symonds by calling (661) 253-3700 or by emailing us via the contact form on this page.
By contacting us and meeting with one of our lawyers for a free initial consultation, you can get helpful answers regarding your eligibility for expungement. You can also secure experienced representation moving forward.
We welcome and respond to calls and emails 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
From offices based in Santa Clarita, we provide superior advocacy and representation to clients throughout Northern Los Angeles and the state of California.
1: Court forms for California expungements are available here.