California’s Clean Slate Act Provides New Criminal Record Relief


On October 8, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 1076, known as California’s Clean Slate Act. This legislation aims to reduce or even eliminate the harsh impact of a criminal record.

California’s Clean Slate Act implements criminal record relief by automatically dismissing certain convictions as soon as the offender successfully completes their sentence. Criminal record relief also includes any arrest that did not result in a conviction. This legislation only applies to convictions on or after January 1, 2021. For a conviction occurring before this date, a petition for dismissal or expungement must be filed and granted in order for the conviction to be dismissed.

Functions of the Clean Slate Act

Before now, there was no legislation in place that prohibited public access to expunged convictions. This meant that an expunged conviction could still be accessed in background checks and other record searches. Although it is illegal to use expunged convictions against an individual for employment, rental, loan, or other application purposes, it is nearly impossible to know whether or not it was actually unlawfully taken into consideration.

Thankfully, that has now changed. As of the beginning of this year, the Clean Slate Act prohibits “data brokers” who conduct background checks and consumer record checks to obtain or report expunged convictions. Most data brokers obtain conviction information from court records. With the passing of the new act, courts will be not be allowed to disseminate or distribute criminal record information containing expunged convictions. Therefore, background checks performed on an individual applying for a job, renting a home, or applying for a loan will no longer show any conviction dismissed under the state’s criminal record relief.

What to do if You Have a Criminal Conviction on Your Record

If you have a conviction dating before January 1, 2021, it is in your best interest to file a petition for expungement. Not doing so allows your criminal conviction to remain easily accessible to the public.

In most cases, expungements are simple to obtain and carry considerable benefits. It allows you to put the past behind you and end the limitations caused by a criminal conviction. With the passage of California’s Clean Slate Act, it is crucial to apply for this new criminal record relief now. If you have been convicted of a crime, contact the Law Offices of Scott Henry today for a free consultation. Our skilled expungement attorneys could review your conviction, determine if it is eligible for criminal record relief, and, if eligible, take the necessary steps to have your conviction dismissed.

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