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Criminal Defense Q&A: Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement? And How Soon Can I Get It Expunged?

Question:

How do you know if and when you can have your criminal record expunged in Contra Costa County? I’m trying to find out if my criminal record in Contra Costa County is eligible to be expunged. If so is there any advice on how I would about starting the process? I have no clue where to begin.

Answer:

Generally, convictions for which you were sentenced to probation, and not prison, are eligible for expungement. Penal Code 1203.4.

Typically this means misdemeanor convictions, although probation-only sentences for a felony conviction are not unheard of. Once you have completed all of the terms of your probation, as well as your probationary term, you can petition the Court to expunge your conviction.

For most misdemeanors, then, expungement becomes an option three years after the date of conviction.

It would be prudent to consult a criminal defense attorney to help you with your expungement. You’ll have to evaluate each conviction on your record for expungement eligibility.

Some felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors and then expunged, some misdemeanors cannot be expunged at all, and some felonies, due to recent developments in the law, may now be eligible for expungement where once they were not.

An attorney may also be able to help you terminate your probation term early so that you can you can obtain an expungement sooner.

Read other criminal defense attorneys at Avvo: Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement? And How Soon Can I Get It Expunged?

Attorney Michael J. Ocampo is a former deputy district attorney. He focuses his practice exclusively on criminal law so that he can help those accused of a crime — often ordinary, everyday people — ensure that their rights are honored and that they receive a fair opportunity to be heard.