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Riverside Expungement Lawyer

Riverside Expungement Lawyer

Facing any kind of criminal charge in Riverside, CA, from a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a felony assault conviction, can have a major impact on your life. Personal relationships can be jeopardized, you may lose job opportunities, and time spent behind bars can delay your personal and educational development. California offers an opportunity for some individuals with criminal convictions to expunge their records. An expungement attorney from Brown & Stedman, LLP can help you determine if you are eligible, file a petition for expungement, and finalize the process.

Understanding Expungement

If you have faced criminal charges for theft, drug-related offenses, DUI charges, or any other type of offense, then you understand the impact it can have on your life. It is visible on a background check and is available on the public record, so it can be seen and accessed by anyone. This information could cause you to lose countless opportunities, either personal or professional, even if your conviction was years in the past and you have grown beyond it.

Expungement is a process that allows you to remove those charges from your record so that they are no longer visible on background checks. This process is also called a dismissal because, once you are granted an expungement, the criminal charges in question will be dismissed, and your record can be sealed. This can help you move forward after serving a sentence for a criminal conviction and avoid more serious consequences in your life.

Riverside Expungement Lawyer

The Record Expungement Process

If you are seeking to have an expungement from your record for a conviction, there is a specific process that you will need to follow. This includes finding the correct forms that pertain to your charges, submitting your petition in the correct place, and potentially appearing in court. Overall, there are three main steps to the expungement process.

– Complete the Necessary Paperwork. There will be specific forms that need to be filled out when you file for expungement, depending on what charges and convictions you have. If your charge or conviction was a felony, such as an embezzlement or fraud charge, then you will have to file a request for it to be reduced to a misdemeanor before an expungement will be possible. If you are hoping to have more than one charge or conviction expunged, then you will have to complete paperwork for each

– File Your Petition. The forms you complete will be filed at the courthouse, where your original case was heard. The policies surrounding submission, such as filing fees and whether the papers will need to be delivered in person, may differ from one county to another. An experienced expungement attorney from Brown & Stedman, LLP can ensure that you are following the correct policies and that your petition is filed in a timely manner.

– Wait for The Final Decision. Once your petition has been filed with the proper courts, you may be required to attend an expungement hearing. This will depend on the details of your case. When you work with an accomplished attorney, they will inform you of every step of the process. Once the hearing is complete, if necessary, you will wait for a judge to determine whether or not your request will be granted. You will typically know whether or not your petition was granted within a period of five months.

The specifics of your case will determine what forms and steps will be necessary when you begin the expungement filing process. Working with an accomplished criminal lawyer can ensure that you complete the proper forms, everything is submitted within the correct timeframes, and you are prepared for any court appearances you have to make. They can also help you understand what charges are eligible for expungement in California.

The Benefits of Expungement in California

Successfully getting a criminal conviction such as arson or a DUI expunged from your record can have a major positive impact on your life. Some of the most important benefits of an expungement are:

  • The dismissal of criminal charges. This means that, on your record, the decision pertaining to your criminal case will be listed as dismissed with a plea of not guilty.
  • You will be able to claim that you have no criminal record or convictions on certain applications.
  • It can be used as tangible evidence that you are working toward rehabilitation from serious struggles in the past, such as drugs or consistent criminal activity.
  • Your criminal offense cannot impeach or remove you as a witness who is testifying in a court case.
  • You will be eligible for federal student loans that you may have missed if you had a drug-related conviction.

Getting criminal charges such as shoplifting, forgery, drug-related offenses, and more removed from your record can be a great way to improve your life, give you opportunities to grow, and help you move on from a painful past.

Things an Expungement Does Not Do

While expungement can be very beneficial, there are some effects of a criminal conviction that it does not extend to. An expungement will not:

  • Remove All Evidence of a Charge or Conviction. The charge will still be on your permanent record, but it will show that you entered a plea of not guilty and the charges were dismissed.
  • Allow You to Not List the Conviction on Certain Applications. If you are applying for a job with the government, a job that requires a specific level of security clearance, or a job that requires you to have a professional license, you will be required to disclose your criminal charges.
  • Give You the Right to Firearms. In some cases, a consequence of a criminal conviction, such as a felony assault offense or domestic violence conviction, is the loss of your right to firearms. Having that charge expunged from your record will not reinstate your right to own or carry firearms.
  • Allow You to Not Register as a Sex Offender. If you were convicted of a crime that was sexual in nature, including indecent exposure and rape, then you may be required to register as a sex offender. That registration will remain effective even if the conviction is expunged.

What Charges Can and Cannot Be Expunged?

Getting a criminal charge or conviction expunged can be an exciting prospect because it has the potential to give you back some freedom or opportunities you have been missing. Misdemeanor charges, including those for things like DUIs, public intoxication, and trespassing, can be expunged if you have completed any sentences, including probation, the correct amount of time has passed since your conviction, and the correct paperwork is filed.

If you are seeking a felony expungement, you may petition in some cases, but there are more restrictions in place. A request for the charge to be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor must be granted before it can be fully expunged. Also, felonies are only eligible for expungement or dismissal if you served your sentence in a county jail and one to two years have passed since you served your sentence.

You may not be eligible for expungement if you are on probation, you are being prosecuted for another crime, you are currently serving any sentence, or you served your sentence in a state prison rather than a county jail. There are also certain convictions that are never eligible for expungement, regardless of how long ago they happened or if other criteria are met. Some of these charges include:

  • Sexual activity with a minor if you are over 21
  • Possession or distribution of pornography involving children
  • Exploitation of a child, if it is sexual in nature
  • Failing to comply with orders from police during a traffic stop

There are many different aspects of each of these charges that may impact your eligibility for expungement. If you are unsure of whether or not you are eligible to petition for expungement, then a Riverside expungement attorney from the team at Brown & Stedman, LLP can help.

Updates to California Expungements Laws

The opportunity to petition the courts and have a criminal conviction expunged from your record can have amazing benefits, but it has not always been accessible to some people. Fortunately, California has passed a new law, which will go into effect in July of 2023, that significantly expands who will be eligible to petition for expungement. This law, which is being called a “clean slate” law, allows anyone with an eligible criminal conviction, while still excluding the previously mentioned convictions, who has served their full sentence and not had any legal problems for at least four years to file an expungement petition. This law will present new and exciting opportunities for thousands of individuals to move beyond their criminal convictions and start their lives fresh.

Trust Brown & Stedman, LLP for Your Record Expungement Needs

Criminal charges can seriously impact your life, but that impact does not have to be permanent. Whether you were charged with a misdemeanor DUI or spent time in a county jail for a felony drug conviction, expungement may give you an opportunity to have the charge dismissed. To ensure that your petition for expungement is handled properly, it is important to have the correct guidance. The team at Brown & Stedman, LLP has decades of combined experience to help you successfully file to have your record expunged in Riverside County. Contact us today to get started.

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