If you committed a crime, faced a conviction and paid your debt to society, you may believe that the worst is behind you. While you may be appropriately remorseful for what you did, you may be surprised to learn that a past conviction can follow you into other areas of your life.
You may want to leave the past in the past and move on to a stronger future, but a blight on your criminal record could be holding you back. California law allows for the expungement of a conviction in certain circumstances, and you would be wise to learn if this is an available legal option for you.
Who is eligible?
Not everyone who wants to wipe his or her criminal record clean will be eligible to do so. If you meet any of the following criteria, you may be able to secure an expungement of your record:
- Reduction of criminal charges to an infraction
- Completion of all the terms of your probation
- No other outstanding charges against you
- Payment of all fines
There are strict limitations to expungement, and an experienced defense attorney can accurately determine if you would be wise to move forward with this step.
The benefits of a clean record
There are numerous benefits, including peace of mind, that come with having a criminal record cleared of your past conviction. If granted, you may enjoy the following benefits:
- Ability to apply for a job without stating you have a criminal record
- Opens additional opportunities for employment in the private sector
- May restore your right to possess a firearm
If you are applying for a government job, you would be wise to disclose your criminal history, along with the expungement. Even with an expungement, you may not receive certain security clearances or licenses. Additionally, an expungement will not automatically restore your right to possess a firearm or remove the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Why should you explore this option?
Restoring certain privileges and applying for jobs without fear of rejection or embarrassment due to your past is a major step toward rebuilding your life and laying the foundation for a secure future. It is worthwhile to explore your options and learn how you can keep your past mistake in the past, where it belongs.