Nobody tells you this, but dealing with your active criminal case is not the only challenge you'll be facing. Once your conviction subsides, you will be left with a criminal history that will follow you for the rest of your life. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, to find a job, housing, or even get approved for a loan. That is where an experienced Los Angeles expungement attorney comes into the picture. Get the expert legal assistance you need to clear your criminal record and get your life back on track.
A criminal record doesn't have to be the end of it all. In fact, there are many ways to get your record expunged or sealed in Los Angeles. The first step is finding an attorney who knows the law and can guide you through the process.
Our team of dedicated and experienced Los Angeles expungement attorneys has helped many people restart their lives by getting their records expunged. Our legal team understands your challenges, and we are here to help.
At Shah Criminal Lawyers, our extensive experience in criminal defense gives us the tools and resources necessary to get your record expunged. We will review your case and determine if you are eligible for an expungement.
Expungement is the process of sealing your criminal records so the public can't access them. If you have your records expunged, it's as if your arrest and conviction never happened.
It's critical to note that if you have your conviction expunged, it doesn't automatically mean your criminal record will be destroyed. To have your records destroyed, you must file a petition for non-disclosure with the court.
However, even if your records are not completely destroyed, the court will still seal them from public view. This means that potential employers, landlords, and others will not have access to them. This is beneficial because it gives you a clean slate and allows you to move on with your life.
Los Angeles expungement lawyers are legal professionals specializing in handling cases related to removing a past criminal conviction. The expungement process can be complicated, and it is crucial to have an expert who can guide you through this intricate process.
Not everyone with a criminal conviction can file an expungement petition to have their records sealed. The eligibility requirements for expungement in California vary depending on the criminal offense and the sentence you received.
According to Penal Code 1203.4, defendants with a felony or misdemeanor conviction can demand to have their criminal record expunged if they:
When all of these requirements are met, you and your lawyer may file an expungement petition with the court. Once the petition is filed, a judge will review your case and determine whether or not to accept your request for expungement.
Although an expungement petition is accessible for all convicted defendants, some crimes are not eligible for an expungement. If you're imprisoned for a felony criminal offense, the court may not allow you to petition an expungement.
Furthermore, you are not allowed to file an expungement petition if you're facing criminal charges for a sex crime involving a minor, such as the following:
The cost of clearing your criminal records varies wildly, depending on the lawyer you choose to work with and the severity of your crime. Lawyers charge different rates, so it's important to research before hiring a Los Angeles expungement lawyer.
Some lawyers charge a fixed rate, while others charge an hourly rate. A lawyer will consider many factors before they provide a quote, such as the following:
If budget is the primary concern, you can always seek a lawyer offering free, confidential consultation. Free consultations allow you to discuss your case with a lawyer without making any commitment or risks.
Criminal convictions can have a lasting, negative impact on your life, and finding a job or housing with a criminal record can be difficult. However, once your records are expunged, you can restart your life and put your past behind you.
Here's why you should consider getting your criminal records expunged in California:
Most job applications have a section where you must disclose any criminal convictions. With a criminal record expungement, you don't have to check the box disclosing your past conviction, which gives you a better chance of being hired.
Additionally, a criminal conviction may prevent you from getting promoted or limit your job opportunities. By expunging your criminal record, you can erase any stigmas associated with your past and progress with your career.
Many licensing organizations revoke or deny licenses to individuals with a criminal record. If you want to obtain or renew a professional license, an expungement can give you an excellent chance of being approved. This is critical if you're aiming for a career in the medical field, teaching, law, etc.
Partaking in professional organizations is a fantastic way to network and build connections in your industry. However, many of these organizations conduct background checks on their members and may reject your application if they find a criminal record.
An expungement can give you a clean slate and improve your chances of being accepted into a professional organization, building your network, and progressing in your career.
In some cases, you might've witnessed a crime happening, and the victim called you to testify in court. However, if you have a criminal record, the defense can use it against you and question your credibility as a witness. An expungement can help you clear your name and restore your credibility, so you can help justice prevail without worrying about your past being used against you.
Finding the perfect place to live is challenging, but even more so with a criminal record. Most landlords and property management companies conduct background checks on prospective tenants. If you have a criminal record, finding an apartment or buying a property may be difficult. Having your record expunged allows you to start fresh and gives you a better chance of securing housing.
When you decide to seek an attorney about getting your record expunged, it's important to ask important questions. Here are some things you should ask your lawyer during your free, confidential consultation:
One of the most critical questions to ask your attorney during your initial consultation is the estimated timeline of your expungement case. Every case is different, and the time it takes to file a petition and receive a decision from the court varies on many factors, such as:
The estimated timeline also varies depending on the county where you were convicted. The process may take a few months in some counties, while in others, it could take a year or more.
It's important to ask your attorney about the estimated timeline of your case to set realistic expectations.
You might expect your attorney to handle everything related to your case, but that's not always the case. In some instances, you may be required to obtain certain documents or do specific tasks, such as:
Your attorney should give you a list of paperwork you need to accomplish to help with your case. Be sure to ask about your responsibilities during your initial consultation. The success of your record expungement lies partially on your shoulders.
You might feel uncomfortable discussing legal service fees with your attorney, but it's one of the most important discussions you should have during your consultation. After all, you need to know how much the entire process will cost.
In general, the amount you'll pay for an expungement case depends on the following:
It's also important to remember that a more experienced lawyer will cost more than an attorney with a few years of experience. However, securing the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney is worth the investment.
As mentioned in previous sections, some cases are not eligible for expungement. The initial step in the legal process is determining if your case is eligible. Here are some factors that contribute to ineligibility:
If you're unsure if your case is eligible for expungement, the best thing to do is to schedule a consultation with experienced criminal defense attorneys.
You don't have to live with the weight of your criminal record holding you back. If your case is eligible for expungement, our Los Angeles expungement attorney can help you through every step of the process.
We understand that the legal system can be confusing and overwhelming, which is why we're here to guide and support you. We'll answer all your questions, explain your options, and help you make the best decisions for your future.
Call us today at (909) 549-2280 for your free consultation. We provide our services to clients around Los Angeles county. Start the process of getting your life back by calling our office today.
While a criminal defense attorney can help increase the chances that the court will expunge your record, there is no guarantee that the court will accept your petition. Factors such as the severity of your offense and the state laws will play a role in the court's decision. However, an attorney can help you through the expungement process and present your case in the best light possible.
Reducing a felony to a misdemeanor and then expunging it to clear your record is possible in some cases. This is a known strategy employed by some of the most experienced expungement attorneys. However, this is a complicated legal process that you should only attempt with the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
No. Deleting your criminal record is not possible. However, an expungement will prevent the general public from accessing your record. In other words, your criminal record will be sealed from public view. Although your criminal record will still exist, it will only be accessible to law enforcement and government agencies, giving you access to many previously closed opportunities.