Expungement FAQs

When you're trying to move forward with your life, you don't want a criminal conviction to keep holding back.

At Fisher Law Office, in San Luis Obispo, we can help you understand your options for expungement and other record-clearing solutions. Give us a call today to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable attorney in a free initial consultation.

What Does An Expungement Do?

Under Section 1203.4 of the California Penal Code, an expungement means that a conviction was "set aside and dismissed."

This doesn't mean, however, that your criminal history records go away. For example, police and government agencies still have access to records about expunged convictions.

But an expungement can allow you to truthfully answer "no" when asked on an application for employment in the private sector whether you have been convicted of a crime.

Can I Get My Record Expunged?

That depends, of course, on what you were convicted of. By statute, certain offenses are not eligible, such as those for sexual assault. For other offenses, there are numerous factors that judges consider, including how much time has passed and whether you completed probation.

Nationally, there is a trend toward making it easier for people to clean up their criminal records. In the last decade, at least 31 states have passed legislation to make it easier.

Will An Expungement Give Me My Gun Rights Back?

No. An expunged conviction does not restore your capacity to legally possess a firearm.

It is possible, however, to ask a court to reduce your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor. If your conviction was for a "wobbler" - chargeable as either a felony or a misdemeanor - a judge has this authority when it serves justice.

If the reduction is granted, it can restore firearms rights for some types of offenses (though not for domestic violence convictions).

Does An Expungement Change Court-Imposed Requirement To Register As A Sex Offender?

No. Even if your conviction was dismissed, you have to make a separate motion to the court to get out from under a requirement to register as a sex offender.

Until that motion is granted, your name will still be on the registry. Megan's Law mandates that your name be publicly available through the Internet as a sex offender.

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