Sealing and Expunging a Criminal Record

 Sealing Your Criminal Record

The sealing of criminal records eliminates all traces of a conviction for certain crimes committed as a juvenile.  All records from the arrest up to the conviction are sealed and later destroyed, including police records, court records, and probation department records.  This means you will not be required to disclose the arrest or conviction on job applications, that the information will not appear in government databases, and the crime will not be counted as a "prior" for future offenses.  The goal is to erase the mistakes you made before turning 18 so they will not follow you as an adult. 

If you are over 18 you may qualify to seal your juvenile record.  Whether you qualify depends on the crime you were convicted of. 

If you are under 18, you may qualify as long as it has been more than 5 years since the date of conviction.

Please contact our office with any questions or to begin the process of sealing your juvenile record.

Expungement of Your Criminal Record

When a conviction is expunged under section 1203.4 or 1203.4a of the California Penal Code, a plea of Guilty or No Contest is set aside and the case is dismissed.  When an employer asks you if you have been convicted of a crime, you can say no (unless it is a government employer).  The crime cannot be used to impeach you in a  court of law.  Depending on the crime that was committed, an expungement may restore your gun ownership rights.

The crime can still be used against you as a prior offense and you must still disclose the conviction on government applications, such as employment, government-issued license, immigration petitions, and other similar documents.  The crime will still appear on your criminal record, but it will state that it was subsequently dismissed.  An expungement will not relieve you of the obligation to register as a sex offender.  Also, an expungement will not prevent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from considering the crime for exclusion and removal purposes.

Please contact our office if you have questions about the expungement process or if you want to expunge your record.