Right to Expunge California Conviction
Darren Chaker believes in California expungement as a tool to allow people great options to resolve their past.
It is reported 1 in 5 adults have a criminal record as reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. For those who want to expunge a California conviction, Penal Code Section 1203.4 permits defendants to do just that. In short, a defendant who has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation is entitled “as a matter of right” to expungement. (Pen. Code § 1203.4). “If the petitioner establishes either of the necessary factual predicates, the trial court is required to grant the requested relief.” (People v. Lewis, 146 Cal. App. 4th 294, 297, 53 Cal. Rptr. 3d 40 (4th Dist. 2006)). Even if court fees or costs of probation remain unpaid, the court is still obligated to grant defendant’s petition for relief. (People v. Bradus, 149 Cal. App. 4th 636, 57 Cal. Rptr. 3d 79 (4th Dist. 2007)). Expungement is a right for misdemeanor convictions, absent few exceptions. If the defendant is convicted of a felony another procedure to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor may be available depending on the crime.