In today’s hard economic times, someone wants to erase the blemish of a conviction. You may want to apply for a job, throw your hat in the ring for a promotion, or apply for graduate school. The concern expressed is almost always that a prospective employer may reject or pass over someone due to their criminal history.
Expungement has legitimate value for employment purposes and recently, due to new laws, in professional licensing. However, expungement does not erase, delete, remove, or restore one’s record to appear like nothing happened. An expungement will change the plea back to “not guilty” and show the case was ultimately dismissed. It is important to note this to know what expungement can do. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at 858-751-4384 for a free consultation.
Helps with most background checks
Due to advancements in technology, background checks are common, relatively inexpensive, quick, and may be required for an employer’s commercial and/or liability insurance. Professional organizations, AYSO soccer, NJB, the Boy Scouts of America, and other organizations also do background checks prior to participation.
Expungement is a seemingly well-known method for having a court order that a prior guilty plea is set aside and replaced with a not guilty plea and dismissal of the case. For expungement, it must be clarified and does not “erase” or delete one’s criminal record as it does in other states.
The biggest benefit of expungement is when someone wants to apply for a private employer organization. Under Penal Code § 1203.4, an applicant can legally answer any private employer job application asking about a conviction with “no” (a private employer is distinguished from a public employer, such as the government). This not only improves one’s job prospects and further promotion chances but removes the stigma associated with having a conviction. Contact The Law Offices of Mark Deniz at 858-751-4384 for a free consultation.
Limits of Expungement
First, Expungement is not available until one completes probation, although someone still on probation can ask a judge to terminate probation and then seek expungement (see our “Termination of Probation” section). Expungement is also not available for all convictions. If one was sentenced and served any part of a prison sentence (i.e. the sentence was not suspended) or one was convicted of certain sex offenses, expungement is not available, but a Certificate of Rehabilitation may be an alternative. Someone also may not obtain an expungement if currently charged with an offense or serving a sentence for another criminal offense.
Second, if one is applying for a government job, expungement will not erase a conviction from view. The government database will still show how the case progressed and that expungement of the record occurred only at the end. Many government sub-contractors have access to the same database as well. If a person is applying for a state license (i.e. real estate, law, medical, contractor, etc.), one must disclose the conviction if asked. Finally, Expungement will not prevent the conviction from being used to enhance a sentence in a later conviction.
Third, expungement also does not have collateral benefits of renewing one’s rights to use or own a firearm if the original plea conditions prohibited this. An expungement also does not relieve one of the requirement to register as a sex offender under Penal Code § 290, if the case included a sex offense. Likewise, expungement does not eliminate the immigration consequences of a conviction except in very limited circumstances such as a first-time drug possession conviction. The Law Offices of Mark Deniz can discuss what an expungement can do for you. Call our office for a consultation at 858-751-4384.
While it cannot erase memories of a conviction, it often brings closure to a chapter in your life you do not want to relive. It also gives the client a new start when applying for a non-government job (private employer), and the client feels he or she is on equal footing with anyone who has never suffered a conviction. Contact The Law Offices of Mark Deniz at 858-751-4384 for a free consultation.