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What is an Expungement?

Expungement, as defined by California Penal Code Section 1203.4 and 1203.4a, is a process by which a criminal history of an adult or a juvenile can be cleared and dismissed by the court. This process may have significant beneficial affects on your ability to get a job, a promotion, obtain a loan, rent an apartment or home, or attend certain educational institutions. Once your conviction has been expunged, you can legally answer “no” if any employer asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime.

The Process of obtaining a successful expungement can be complex. If you are seeking to have your criminal record expunged so that you will no longer have to disclose your criminal record on an employment application, or other similar reasons, Contact the Law Office of Brian R. Watson. We have successfully handled countless expungements over our seventeen years of criminal defense practice, and are very familiar with the process of drafting, filing, presenting and obtaining expungements. You are able to seek an expungement once you have successfully completed the terms of your probation. We will then request the court to dismiss your conviction. The judge hearing your case will reopen the case and allow you to withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest and enter a not guilty plea. The judge can also reopen your case even after you were convicted after trial. He can then set aside and dismiss the conviction, and your record will then show that the charges have been dismissed.

Why do I need an Expungement?

Before the dramatic increase in computers and computer data systems, a person’s criminal history was unlikely to be discovered by anyone other than law enforcement. Although, criminal records have always been public information, an employer would rarely search through the voluminous records to determine if a job applicant had a criminal conviction.

However, today, there are many companies that provide services that can index criminal court records into vast national databases that can be searched by name and date of birth. This technology allows potential employers, licensing agencies and organizations to conduct a background check of your criminal records with a few strokes of a keyboard. When an expungement is granted the material contained in any search will indicate that the matter has been dismissed.

Can all Criminal Convictions be Expunged?

Most but not all criminal convictions can be expunged from a criminal record. To determine if the expungement procedure can be used you your matter you should contact the Office of Brian R. Watson and we will be happy to discuss in detain all issues that may be involved in seeking an expungement for your issue.

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