California Record Expungement is not always clear and easy. Many people have misunderstanding about it. These misunderstandings are normal. Technically there is no such thing as a California Record Expungement in California. California Record Expungement is a term used for the marketing of Penal Code 1203.4.
Penal Code 1203.4 says that a case can be reopened and dismissed, subject to some exceptions. If a person did not violate probation then by law a person is entitled to a dismissal. This makes it much easier to get a dismissal.
However, when there is a violation then it will be up to the discretion of the court. Some judges in the court will not give a California Record Expungement on a technical violation in a DUI. There are also other limits to an expungement in California; this is not an exhaustive list.
A California Record Expungement will not make the Prior go away.
A California Record Expungement will not make a prior go away. If you got in trouble for a DUI in 10 years and you get another one then it will count as your second one. It doesn’t matter if you had a California Record Expungement because the court and the DMV will count the prior and you will be looking at the same consequences.
California Record Expungement Will not Bring back Gun Rights
I get a lot of clients who get in trouble for domestic violence. This involves them losing their gun rights. People would get in trouble and finish probation and come back expecting the dismissal to bring back their gun rights. It doesn’t work like this.
I get lots of teachers and future lawyers asking me about this. You will have to disclose when you fill out your application for a license. This goes for people going after nursing programs and lawyer license. It is actually worse if you fill out the application and do not disclose. You must disclose this.
Main Advantages of California Record Expungement
There is one advantage to a California Record Expungement. It lets you HONESTLY answer that you have never been convicted for the crime you got dismissed. You can honestly answer “NO” on the job application if you got it dismissed and there are no other convictions on your record.
It is not impossible to clean up your DUI. However, if the second DUI was picked up while the person was on probation for the first DUI then there is a problem. Some judges are less willing to grant a DUI Expungement when a person receives a DUI while on probation.
The goal behind getting an Expungement is to give a person a new chance. There are also other obstacles which will hinder a person’s chances with getting a dismissal. If a person violated probation then it will make getting a dismissal much more difficult. Some district attorneys make it a blanket policy to oppose dismissal when there has a been a probation violation.
This happens a lot in Orange County. They will deny a dismissal every time there is a probation violation. It doesn’t matter if a probation was small such as forgetting a date or circumstantial where a person couldn’t find a ride to class and couldn’t make enough classes. It gets treated the same.
Sometimes people get bad luck. Most people get only one DUI in their lifetime. However due to bad luck, bad decisions or a combination of both, some people ending up getting more than 1 DUI.
It is possible to do it yourself, however it is a maze to navigate the courts. For example, Metro Court is a nightmare and the lines are horrendous to stand in. even attorneys hav a hard time waiting in line. There are several lines and if you read the wrong sins or misunderstood the sign, then you are can lose a few hours in line only to find out that you have to go to another line and repeat the process. This does not include serving the documents. Having an attorney to expunge your criminal record can make all the difference.