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 Record Can Hold You Back
A criminal conviction can prevent you from obtaining employment, a professional license, or from holding public office.
How Can I Fix My Criminal Record
You may be able to erase or modify your criminal record depending on the status of your case...
Erase the Record of Your Arrest - Penal Code section 851.8
You can erase the record of your arrest if:
- The prosecutor declines to file charges, OR
- You are charged, but not convicted.
Undo a Guilty Verdict or Plea
You can request to withdraw your guilty plea within 6 months from entering the plea. (Penal Code section 1018)
You can appeal a gulity verdict by filing a notice of appeal within 30 days of the verdict or order. (Penal Code section 1466)
You can request a new trial before you are sentenced. (Penal Code section 1181)
End Probation - Penal Code section 1203.3
If you are on probation and want to get off early, you can petition the court for early termination of probation. The court will terminate probation if you can demonstrate good conduct and reform AND that the interests of justice will be served by termination of probation.
Expunge Your Conviction - Penal Code section 1203.4
You can ask the court to "expunge" your conviction if:
- You have successfully completed probation, OR
- One year has passed since you finished serving time.
Reduce Charge - Penal Code Section 17(b)
Offenses that can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony are known as "wobblers." You can ask the court to reduce a wobbler to a misdemeanor during your case, or after you are convicted.
Restore Your Gun Rights - Penal Code section 29805
If you lost your gun rights due to a misdemeanor conviction, your rights should be automatically restored 10 years after your conviction.
If you lost your gun rights due to a felony conviction, your rights will not be restored unless you are granted a pardon by the governor or the court reduces your conviction to a misdemeanor.