Redding Attorney Helping With Criminal Record Expungements

Are you unemployable or having problems finding a job because of your criminal record? Have you had problems obtaining a passport or traveling abroad? Have you been forced to register as a sex offender? Have you been punished long enough?

A conviction does not have to haunt you forever — you may be entitled to relief. There are a number of different ways to obtain an expungement and clean your record. An experienced defense lawyer can help you navigate through the legal system in pursuit of clearing your criminal record.

At the Redding Law Offices of John M. Kucera, he can help you move on from a criminal conviction — there is no better place to start than with a record clearing, also known as an "expungement." Redding criminal defense attorney John M. Kucera is well-versed in researching, evaluating and advising clients about the consequences of a criminal record. He has over three decades of practice in the criminal justice system. Mr. Kucera will apply his years of experience and legal skills in pursuit of helping you expunge your criminal record.

To Whom Do You Trust Your Freedom? Contact The Law Offices Of John M. Kucera

If you have a criminal conviction on your record, it will have an adverse impact on many different areas of your life. Whether you are applying for a job, a credit card, school, or an apartment, people will have access to your criminal record. Your criminal record could prevent you from moving forward and supporting yourself. The more serious the conviction, the harder it will be to move forward.

However, there are many things you can do. Criminal defense attorney John M. Kucera is available to take a close look at your unique situation in order to help you come up with a plan that works. He will help you consider the following, so you can move on with your life:

  • Record clearing
  • Motions to reduce felonies to misdemeanors
  • Motions to dismiss
  • Sealing of juvenile records
  • Sealing of arrest records
  • Certificate of rehabilitation
  • Pardons
  • Getting de-listed from the Internet as sex offender

Expungement

Clients often contact my office inquiring about whether they can "clear their criminal record" commonly referred to as "expungement". The answer, of course, depends upon whether the crime was committed as a juvenile, (under age 18) as an adult (over age 18) and the type of crime that was committed.

Juveniles

Clearing of juvenile records are sought pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code Sections and include record sealing which does, in fact, "erase" the arrest and court records. Relief for certain serious or violent crimes referenced in Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707 may not be available.

Adults

Except for a finding of factual innocence [Penal Code §§ 851.8 - 851.90], nothing actually permanently removes a conviction from your adult record. However, there are several different steps that you can take to minimize the stigma associated with an adult criminal record. For example, you may seek permission from the court to dismiss or expunge a prior conviction [Penal Code §§ 1203.4 and 1203.4a].

If your prior conviction was for a crime classified as a felony, you may be able to ask the court to reduce it to a misdemeanor [Penal Code §§ 16, 17, 18, 19, 19.2, 19.4, 19.6, 19.7].

Finally, you may be able to seek a Governor's traditional pardon [Penal Code §§ 4800 - 4813], or a Certificate of Rehabilitation [Penal Code §§ 4852.01 - 4852.21].

Each of these procedures is designed to permit you to claim that although you were convicted, the conviction was subsequently dismissed or pardoned. So, in short, the record of your conviction is never actually purged from the justice system, and if you commit a criminal act in the future, consequences from the dismissed, expunged or pardoned conviction may still flow from its existence.

Employment Issues

The purpose and function of an expungement (Penal Code Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a) is probably one of the most confusing post-conviction concepts in the criminal law - especially for private employers. Many private employers, even today, continue to ask questions on their employment application forms which, most probably, are illegal and may subject them to being sued.

With very few exceptions, the expungement process is strictly limited to the relief the Legislature has authorized. Recognizing that good people make mistakes, the expungement process was adopted by the Legislature to provide some post-conviction relief for citizens who have one or more prior convictions.

The California Labor Code (sections 432.7 and 432.8) and regulations adopted by the State of California [Code of Regulations Title 2, Section 7287.4, subd. (d)] provides some measured relief from potentially embarrassing questions posed by many employers. In safeguarding your constitutional and statutory rights, it is critical that you understand the laws and regulations that may apply to your expungement once it is granted by the court.

Although an expungement does NOT erase an actual conviction from your adult criminal record, it may (1) assist you in getting a state, county or local license or certificate that is required for you to engage in certain careers or professions, (2) provide you with a right to deny the existence of a prior arrest or conviction when asked by a private employer, and (3) assist you with obtaining a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Pardon from the Governor.

With over three decades of practice The Law Offices of John M. Kucera assists clients with the knowledge, skill and ability necessary to help clean up your record.

Pardons And Certificates Of Rehabilitation

Any person who has been convicted of a crime in California may apply to the Governor for a pardon.

There are two different paths that one can take to apply for a pardon. In applying for a pardon, most people must first obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation from the Superior Court in the county where he or she currently resides, which, when granted, is itself an application for a pardon.

Anyone otherwise ineligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation must use the "traditional" pardon procedure which requires a pardon application to be filed directly in the Office of the Governor.

Most people who have been convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanor sex offense specifically set forth in Penal Code §290, the accusatory pleading of which has been dismissed pursuant to Penal Code §§ 1203.4 or 1203.4a, may file a Certificate of Rehabilitation petition. (See California Penal Code Section 4852 et. seq).

Those who are ineligible, and are not able to file a Certificate of Rehabilitation petition, such as individuals who are not California residents, must pursue a traditional pardon made directly to the Governor of California

Once a pardon application or Certificate of Rehabilitation is received by the Governor, it is referred to the Board of Prison Terms for the completion of an investigation into the rehabilitative character of the applicant†. The Board may contact the district attorney, investigating law enforcement agency and other persons with relevant information on or concerning the applicant (i.e. the person who is seeking the pardon).

No fee is charged for applying for a pardon.

† Although, upon receipt of the certified Certificate of Rehabilitation, the Governor may grant a full pardon without further investigation (except when two or more felony convictions are reported from separate proceedings‡). However, in most cases, the Governor will refer the application for parole to the Board of Prison Terms for them to conduct a further investigation. Following review of the Board's report, the Governor may grant the requested pardon.

‡ If the applicant has been convicted of one or more felonies in separate proceedings, the California Supreme Court, by a vote of four (4) justices, must first approve the granting of a full pardon.

Source: Office of the Governor, Legal Affairs Secretary, California; California Constitution; Penal Code

Contact An Experienced Lawyer For Expungement Help

If you are ready to move on with your life, obtaining an expungement can make a big difference in your future. Contact my law firm online today to schedule a free initial 30-minute consultation with a highly skilled attorney has over three decades of practice, skill and ability to tackle the most demanding and complex expungement issues.

The Law Offices of John M. Kucera are located one-half block north of the Shasta County Courthouse in Redding, California. He is committed to defending clients throughout Northern California in Shasta Lake, Yreka, Red Bluff, Hayfork, Weaverville and surrounding communities and counties.