By Russell Brown. California criminal record lawyer.
What is a “Criminal Record?”
If you have ever been arrested, charged with a crime, or convicted of a crime, there is likely a “criminal record” on file with the California Department of Justice.
A Criminal Conviction Can Hold You Back
A criminal conviction can prevent you from obtaining employment, a professional license, or from holding public office.
Changing a Criminal Record
Below are several common ways to modify a criminal record.
Seal an Arrest Record
The Court can order law enforcement to seal arrest records if:
1) The prosecutor declines to file charges, OR
2) The defendant was not convicted (acquitted or charges dismissed).
Change a Guilty Plea or Verdict
- Request to withdraw a guilty plea within 6 months from entering the plea. (Penal Code section 1018)
- Appeal a guilty verdict by filing a notice of appeal within 30 days of the verdict or order. (Penal Code section 1466)
- Request a new trial before you are sentenced. (Penal Code section 1181)
Expunge Your Conviction
The Court can “expunge” a conviction if:
- The defendant successfully completed probation, OR
- One year has passed since the defendant finished serving time.
Reduce the Charge to a Misdemeanor
A “wobbler” is an offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The defendant can ask the court to reduce a wobbler from a felony to a misdemeanor during the case, or after a conviction.
Restore Your Gun Rights
- Misdemeanor conviction – gun rights are automatically restored 10 years after the conviction.
- Felony conviction – gun rights will not be restored unless the governor grants a pardon to the defendant or the Court reduces the conviction to a misdemeanor.
The Law Office of Russell Brown offers Criminal Record Sealing and Modification in California.