With today’s technology, your criminal record is easily viewable to the public. Employers, landlords, professional organizations, and other agencies typically run routine background checks. Therefore, having a criminal record substantially limits your ability to obtain loans, gain employment, or obtain housing and professional licenses.

If you want to put a stop to the negative consequences of having a criminal conviction on your record, contact our Ontario expungement lawyers today. At the Law Offices of Scott Henry, our experienced legal defense team has successfully helped clients expunge their criminal convictions for over four decades. We know precisely how to advocate to the court on your behalf to have your expungement petition granted, and your conviction dismissed. Contact our offices today for a free consultation and take the first step toward ending the negative effects of your criminal record.

Petitioning for a Record Expungement in Ontario

In California, an individual can petition the court to reopen their case and have their conviction set aside. The expungement process begins when your Ontario lawyer files an expungement petition to have your conviction dismissed under California Penal Code 1203.4 PC. The petition is then held before the judge without a jury present. During the brief hearing, the judge and your attorney discuss the specifics of the conviction, whether or not you fulfilled the terms of your sentence, if you have any subsequent convictions, and whether you can find and maintain employment. The judge then decides to either accept or deny your expungement petition. If your petition is accepted, you receive a signed order showing your case has been dismissed. 

Who Qualifies for an Expungement?

An individual is eligible to have their criminal conviction expunged if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They were previously convicted of a misdemeanor or felony.
  • They were not convicted of sex crimes involving children.
  • They are not currently facing criminal charges, serving time in jail, or on probation.
  • They completed their sentence and terms of their probation – or obtained an early termination of probation.
  • They did not serve time in state prison.
  • They were not charged or convicted in a Federal court.

What is California’s Clean Slate Act?

Effective January 1, 2021, a criminal conviction occurring on or after this date will automatically be dismissed after the individual completes his or her sentence. This also includes arrests that do not result in a charge or conviction. The Clean Slate Act also makes it a crime for data brokers performing background checks to obtain information about or disclose an expunged conviction. Therefore, an expunged conviction should no longer negatively affect your chances of obtaining employment, housing, or loans. If you were convicted of a crime before this date, you would still need to file a petition for expungement with an Ontario lawyer to have your conviction set aside.

Reducing a Felony Conviction to a Misdemeanor

Relief that often goes hand in hand with an expungement is a reduction of a felony conviction to a misdemeanor under California Penal Code 17b PC. Only “wobbler” felonies can be reduced. These are crimes that could have been charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. There are several benefits to having your felony conviction reduced, including:

  • Being able to answer honestly on an application that you have never been convicted of a felony
  • Being able to obtain quality housing and gainful employment
  • Restoring your gun rights
  • Making it easier to be approved for loans
  • The ability to obtain professional licensing
  • Eliminating the need to check in with a probation officer.

Our Ontario Expungement Attorneys Could Help

Criminal convictions can impact your entire future. If you want to put a stop to the limitations caused by your criminal record, contact our leading Ontario expungement lawyers right away. We understand the frustration that follows a criminal conviction. That is why we are committed to helping you have your conviction set aside so you can move on with your life. Contact the Law Offices of Scott Henry today to set up a free consultation with our experienced attorneys. Our legal team could review your conviction, discuss the many benefits of a record expungement, determine your eligibility, and identify a course of action to have your record expunged.

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