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POST CONVICTION RELIEF

In the age of mass incarceration, it is well known that people who have been arrested or convicted face collateral consequences. There are a myriad of laws and regulations that serve as barriers to anyone with a criminal record. This results in employment discrimination, ineligibility for social welfare, government benefits, student loans and public housing. There may be forms of post conviction relief available to help mitigate the hardships that come with having a criminal record. Our office will provide you support, guide you through the post conviction procedural process, and fight vigorously to clean up your record.

EXPUNGEMENTS

An expungement under PC 1203.4 is one way to help clean up your criminal record by allowing you to remove your “guilty” plea in exchange for a “not guilty” plea. This allows you to deny that you’ve been convicted of your charge in most private sector job applications, and bars employers from discriminating against you based on your criminal conviction. Expungements are available to those with both felony and misdemeanor convictions, provided that you have successfully completed your probation and they have not been incarcerated in a state prison. You are only eligible for an expungement if (1) you are not serving a sentence of offense, (2) you are not on probation for any offense or (3) you are not being charged with the commission of any offense. Our office can help you discover whether you are eligible for an expungement. In some cases, you may be eligible for early termination of your probation.

FACTUAL INNOCENCE CASES

While an expungement may help clean up your conviction, it does not impact other records relating to your case such as your arrest record, police reports and booking photos. Under PC 851.8, clients who were (1) arrested but not charged, (2) charged with dismissal, or (3) acquitted of a crime in a jury trial may be eligible to seal and destroy their records as if their arrest never occurred in the first place.

RECLASSIFICATION OF FELONIES

In November 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, which reclassifies certain non-violent, low-level felonies to misdemeanors. Felonies that are eligible for reclassification include: simple drug possession; petty theft and shoplifting under $950, forging or writing a bad check under $950 and receiving stolen property under $950. Reclassification results in the restoration of certain rights and privileges including access to loans, the right to own a firearm, and eligibility to serve on a jury.

CERTIFICATE OF REHABILITATION

Another way of clearing your criminal record post conviction is applying for a Certificate or Rehabilitation under PC 4852. While a Certificate of Rehabilitation does not actually erase your criminal history, it is a judicial declaration that you have been rehabilitated and are no longer living a life of crime. A certificate of rehabilitation serves as an automatic petition for a governor’s pardon and automatically restores all civil rights lost because of a conviction, except for gun rights. 

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