The Benefits of Having Your Record Expunged
May 12, 2021
One of the most important actions you can take is clearing up a prior criminal conviction. I would file this under the category of a “no brainer.” Why would you want a charge to be lingering out there as an excuse for denying you a job, denying you a rental, denying you a mortgage application, etc. Expunging a prior conviction is a smart, useful, and financially sound decision. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.
Getting an offense reduced to a misdemeanor
This falls under the same category as an expungement, and often, we’re able to do an expungement and reduction to a misdemeanor at the same time. Doing both simultaneously makes it more economical and has a bigger impact on the benefits of the expungement. If having a conviction is bad, being labeled a felon is even worse.
Can’t an Employer still Hold the Conviction Against me After it’s Expunged?
While it’s true that the conviction still must be disclosed for the following reasons: an application for state or local licensing, contracting with the California State Lottery, or an application/questionnaire for public office. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to be disclosed for most employment applications and it is even a crime for an employer to ask about expunged offenses (see Labor Code 430.7).
Who Can See an Expunged Record?
If being convicted of a crime long ago is interfering with your life, you can speak to a lawyer about having your record expunged. This means that people who are doing background checks, in most circumstances, can’t consider an expunged offense.
However, keep in mind that just because your record is expunged, this doesn't mean that people in the criminal justice system won't be able to see it. If you are arrested for something new, the judge will be able to see your past record, even if it has been expunged. And having a similar type of conviction in your past will still hold against you in a court of law.
So having your record expunged can help you out in your day to day life. But it's (literally) not a get out of jail free card. So, take advantage of this option if you are eligible for it but be aware of its limitations.
Contact us for more information about having your record expunged.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.