Criminal records are public records that prospective employers, landlords, and institutions can access as part of ordinary screening procedures. A single conviction for a past crime can easily affect your chances of obtaining employment or a professional license, even after having completed your sentence. If you have been convicted of an offense in California, it is possible to apply for expungement or a modification of your criminal record.

Expungement and Other Criminal Record Options in California

  • Petition to Seal and Destroy Arrest Records: California Penal Code Section 851.8 provides a remedy for anyone whose charge is dismissed after a court makes a determination regarding their innocence under the facts presented
  • Petition for Dismissal under California Penal Code 1203.4 or 1203.4a: Anyone who has been convicted for misdemeanor and non-traffic infractions can ask the court to reopen the case and set aside the conviction, resulting in a dismissal of the case
  • Petition for Dismissal After Completion of Drug Diversion: California Penal Code Section 1201.1(e)(l) allows anyone convicted of a drug crime under certain conditions, to petition for the court to set aside the conviction and dismiss the action after successfully completing a drug treatment program
  • Petition for Rehabilitation and Pardon of a Felony: For persons convicted of a felony and who served time in prison for it, California Penal Code section 4852.01 allows them to petition the superior court judge to issue a certificate of rehabilitation and endorse their case to the California governor for clemency. The result is not an expungement of the conviction but a restoration of certain rights such as the right to vote

Actor Robert Downey, Jr. recently received a pardon for drug crimes committed in the 1990’s. He was one of the 91 convicts who were pardoned by the California governor in the traditional Christmas Eve act of clemency. Downey’s pardon covered various crimes including possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence, and carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle. He completed his sentence in 2002.

In Los Angeles, California, the Kestenbaum Law Group, headed by David S. Kestenbaum, has a proven track record for raising criminal defenses, which includes obtaining expungement, dismissals, and other processes that allow his clients to move on with their lives after a brush with the law. We encourage you to speak to one of our attorneys today and learn how we can help you in your case. Call us at (818) 616-4312.