Criminal Record

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

(Penal Code section 851.8)

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

End Probation Early

(Penal Code section 1203.3)

The court will terminate probation if the defendant demonstrates 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)

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

(Penal Code Section 17(b))

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

(Penal Code section 29805)

  • 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.