Expungement Attorney San Francisco CA Residents Trust
All too often, even after and arrest or a sentenced is served, those with marks on their criminal record still face significant obstacles in their lives. If you are still feeling the consequences of an arrest or conviction, even after you’ve served your time, it may be in your best interest to contact a expungement lawyer in San Francisco, CA to learn if you are eligible to have your criminal record sealed. It could be the first step to getting your life back.
There are options available to potentially have your criminal record expunged. The attorneys at The Morales Law Firm can assist you in understanding the expungement process, as well as determining your eligibility for having your record sealed.
Expungement in California
A new California law allows people who were arrested but never convicted to have their California arrest records sealed as a matter of right (automatically). Sealing an arrest means the record will not show up on most criminal background checks in California. This excludes background checks from law enforcement.
This law is now codified in several Penal code sections, including California Penal Code 851.87 PC. This code outlines the following reasons a record could be sealed as a matter of right:
- Criminal charges were never filed,
- Criminal charges were filed but later dismissed,
- The defendant was found “not guilty” (acquitted) in a jury trial,
- The defendant’s conviction was vacated or overturned on appeal, or
- The defendant successfully completed a pretrial diversion or pre-sentencing program, such as Prop 36 drug treatment or Penal Code 1000 deferred entry of judgment.
An exception to sealing an arrest record as a matter of right is when the person arrested has a history of arrests and/or convictions for:
- Domestic violence,
- Child abuse, and/or
- Elder abuse.
But even in these cases, an arrest can still be sealed if a judge determines that doing so would serve the interests of justice.
What are the benefits of sealing an arrest record?
As a San Francisco expungement attorney can explain, criminal records are public records. This means that anyone can access another person’s criminal history.
This could put a negative mark on you first impression to prospective employers, apartment owners, state licensing agencies, insurance companies — even potential dating partners — if they run a background check on you. Often, any kind of record will hinder or cease progress on any of the above mentioned opportunities.
However, once an arrest record is sealed, members of the public can no longer see it. The arrest record, police investigative reports, photos, fingerprints and court records will be inaccessible, except for limited use by the State or criminal justice agencies.
Contact A Lawyer Today
Having a blemish on your criminal record can create significant obstacles in your life. At The Morales Law Firm, we have dedicated our lives to helping our clients fight for their rights. No one should have to suffer as a result of a mistake. Contact an expungement attorney San Francisco CA residents trust from our firm, today.