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Can you have a conviction expunged in California?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2021 | Expungement

If you were convicted of a crime some time in the past, you might feel that the weight of your conviction still hangs around your neck. You might wonder if there is a way to clear it.

Some states offer expungement, which can wipe a criminal conviction from your record. Things are a little different in California because true expungement does not exist. However, you might still be able to clear your record and have your charge dismissed.

Why might I want to clear a criminal record?

There are various good reasons to seek a dismissal. Here are three of them:

  • It increases your chances of employment: When you apply for a job, most employers will do a background check. Finding out you have a criminal conviction could cause them to turn you down.
  • It increases your chance of obtaining housing: Many housing providers also carry out a background check. If they discover a court convicted you of a crime, they might decide they do not want you as a resident.
  • It could allow you to get a gun license: If you wish to take out a gun license, a dismissal may or may not help. Talk to an attorney for advice. It depends on what your conviction was for. A felony will still make you ineligible.

Note that the dismissal process might not stop your record from appearing in some background checks. However, it will show that you pleaded not guilty and that your case was dismissed. It is not a perfect solution, especially if you feel you were not guilty in the first place. However, other than a governor’s pardon, it might be the best option you have.