January 23, 2014 By Paul Wallin

So You Want To Clean Up Your Criminal Record: Expungements Are An Option for a Fresh Start in Southern California

In Southern California individuals who have been convicted of a crime often seek ways to clear their criminal record. One common term that is used in this process is expungement. 

Choosing Wallin & Klarich expungement attorney to represent you in an excellent position to achieve your goal.  We have over 40 years of experience helping those who are seeking expungements or pardons in Southern California.

Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL for your free phone consultation!

What is Expungement?

Expungement, also known as record sealing, is a legal process in which an individual’s criminal record is sealed from public access. This means that the offense will not appear on background checks and may not need to be disclosed by the individual in certain situations. In Southern California, expungement is available for most misdemeanor and some felony convictions. 

The Benefits of Expungement

Seeking an expungement can have positive effects that go beyond your criminal record.

Improved Employment Opportunities

For many individuals, one of the most immediate and pressing concerns after being involved in the legal system is the impact a conviction can have on employment. In a competitive job market, and especially in fields where background checks are routine, an expungement can become a game-changer to secure meaningful employment.

An expunged record is generally not required to be disclosed to private employers. In Southern California, there’s often a significant difference for employers when they note that a conviction is expunged, highlighting the individual’s proactive approach to their legal affairs. This not only enhances employability but also empowers individuals to regain control of their narrative during job interviews and beyond.

Restoration of Civil Rights

Criminal convictions may impose limitations beyond employment, such as those related to voting, serving on a jury, and holding public office. An expungement can serve as a tool for restoring these civil liberties and participation in civic duties, reinforcing an accused individual’s sense of belonging and engagement within their community.

Peace of Mind and a Fresh Start

Beyond the legal and practical advantages, the emotional and social impact of expungement cannot be overstated. It brings an unprecedented sense of closure and a determination to move forward, often marking the beginning of a brighter chapter without the looming shadow of past transgressions.

The Expungement Process

Understanding the process is crucial for those contemplating expungement. The steps are as follows:

  1. Eligibility Determination: An individual should first ascertain if they are eligible for expungement. Eligibility often depends on the nature of the conviction, any subsequent infractions, and time since the completion of the sentence.
  2. Preparing the Petition: A formal petition for expungement is drafted, typically with the assistance of legal counsel, ensuring all required information is complete and included.
  3. Filing the Petition: The completed petition is filed with the court, initiating the formal review process. It’s vital to file in the court where the conviction occurred.
  4. Securing Supporting Documents: Certain cases may necessitate the acquisition of additional documentation to support the expungement petition, such as proof of completion of probation or compliance with all sentence requirements.
  5. Notification and Hearing: After filing, the court will schedule a hearing. In some instances, our law office can appear at the hearing without our client needing to be present.
  6. Judicial Review and Decision: The court will evaluate the petition, supporting documents, and any relevant case information before rendering a decision on the expungement request.
  7. Follow-Up: If the expungement is granted, our law firm can follow up with the court to ensure all records are properly updated and, if necessary, to pursue the restoration of your civil rights.

Who Qualifies for Expungement?

In Southern California, an individual may qualify for an expungement if certain criteria are met.

  • The person has completed any jail sentence that has been imposed.
  • The person has successfully completed his period of probation.
  • The person is not serving a jail sentence for any other crime.
  • The person is not on probation for any crime.
  • The person was not convicted of one or more serious felony charges.

 Our criminal defense law firm will prepare your motion under Penal Code Section 1203.4. We must then serve the motion on the District Attorney. The court will then set a hearing date so the judge can review the written motion filed by the lawyer for the defendant. The District Attorney may agree or disagree with the granting of the motion. Your lawyer can then make legal arguments as to why the court should grant the motion. At the conclusion of the hearing the court will decide whether the motion will be granted. It is important to note that filing of the motion does not guarantee it will be granted. The court will consider many factors including the facts of the crime for which the person was convicted, his or her current employment and what “self-help” classes the person may have successfully completed since the time he/she was convicted of the crime. Our law firm has been successfully representing thousands of clients who have had their petitions granted when we have handled their expungement matter. Call us for a free consultation to see if you will qualify for an expungement at 877-466-5245. We will be there when you call. We have offices in Tustin, Pasadena, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Torrance, Victorville, West Covina, Anaheim, and Irvine. Call us for a free consultation at 877-466-5245.


AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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