Orange County Expungement


This is the most informative article written on expungemnt of records in California. However, it is still important that you have an attorney who is familiar with the courthouse you are in. For example, if you were in Orange County then you would want an attorney who practices in there often and not one that practices in Ventura as they would know more about the lay ofthe land and what to avoid and what to stay away from.

The forms for 1203.4 can be downloaded at the California Judicial Forms Website.

Penal Code 1203.4 Governs Whether Your Case Will Be Dismissed or Not.

1203.4.(a) (1) In any case in which a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period 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 available under this section, the defendant shall, at any time after the termination of the period of probation, if he or she is not then serving a sentence for any offense, on probation for any offense, or charged with the commission of any offense, be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided in Section 13555 of the Vehicle Code.

General Overview

A lot of times kids grow up fast. Unfortunately these records do stick around. It is also possible to seal juvenile records if you grew up fast; however Penal Code 1203.4 is the vehicle for getting this done. There is another process for this and it is in the juvenile code.

Finally, there are times you may be falsely accused of committing a crime and the arrest records will stick around. For example a person gets arrested because he looked like a suspect who committed a crime. The police find out they had the wrong person so they let him go. The area for this where a person is falsely accused of a crime is called a finding of factual innocence. In these cases a person must be factually innocent and a person must start the process early.

It is important that you find what is the right vehicle for the purpose of cleaning up your record and any objections from the district attorney or prosecuting agency. Prosecuting agencies routinely find minor violations in cases to deny a person’s request to dismiss a case. It’s important to protect yourself to not get run over by a trained prosecutor.

There are many benefits to a Misdemeanor Expungement. However there just as there are benefits there are also limits to them as well. It’s important that a person knows the limits to a Misdemeanor Expungement before they move forward with getting one. The discussion below is not a full list of all the limitations of an expungement. For that you will need to consult with an attorney and have it explained.

Misdemeanor Expungement

Misdemeanor Expungement will clear your record if you have only one crime.

A Misdemeanor Expungement biggest benefit is that you do not have to answer for a crime. It enables you to say that you were never convicted of that particular crime. However, people will often run into problems when they have multiple crimes and only one gets dismissed. An expungement will only make one charge go away. If your goal is to answer that you have never been convicted of any crime and you have multiple convictions then you will have to dismiss the other charges as well.

The area of law that governs Expungement of Criminal Records in California and Orange County is California Penal Code 1203.4. First you have to make sure your case is eligible for expungement. In a nutshell Expungement of Criminal Records in California involves crimes out there that will make you ineligible. Such crimes include that of serving prison time for over a year and there are even crimes where the sentence was executed and hung over your head and you never served the time, but still counts as prison time. After words a request is made to the court to change the plea to not guilty and have the conviction set aside. When this shows up on a person’s record, it will show up as a dismissal and not a conviction. An expungement can be tricky if not handled right and it’s important to have help on your case.

There are many roadblock and obstacles that can stand in our way to a clean criminal record. Having help along the way can mean a world of difference. You may need someone to help you along the way to file the paperwork on your behalf and get a proof of service the proper parties to your case. In addition some can also help you handle the more complicate aspects of the case such as ascertaining the proper prosecuting agency and deciding whether or not to (17b) if it is possible to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor and then dismiss the misdemeanor.

What is the Expungement Process? 

The Expungement of Criminal Records in California will be different in from county to county. For example, San Diego is really strict with formalities, LA has several courthouses with their own local policies, San Bernardino and Orange County Courthouses also have their own rules with local court rules.

However, they have many things in common. These common things include

1) Whether or not your case falls within the statue

2) What level of scrutiny the court will apply in looking at your case

3) Whether or not the court will consider your case for Expungement of Criminal Records in California and a decision on your case?

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About Hieu Vu

Tustin Criminal Defense Attorney

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