If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in California, you might be able to have your case dismissed. A dismissal, or expungement, may help you move on with your life and avoid the limitations caused by your criminal record.

Our Westminster expungement lawyers at The Law Office of Scott D. Henry have decades of experience handling this process. We are committed to advocating on your behalf to provide you with the opportunity to put the past behind you. Expungements can be lengthy and stressful, but with help from our skilled legal team, this process can be faster, easier, and much less stressful.

What to Know About Expungements

Before you choose to file for a dismissal of your case, it is important to understand what an expungement is, what it does, and what it does not do. An expungement is a process by which a criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed. It treats the conviction as if it never occurred. If the judge grants you an expungement, your case will be reopened, your guilty plea or verdict will be set aside, and the case will be dismissed. The functions of an expungement include:

  • Release from “all penalties and disabilities” incurred by the criminal conviction.
  • Granting you the ability to legally answer “no” when asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime.
  • Prohibiting an employer or landlord from accessing any information about the arrest or conviction and asking you for any information in their regards.

It is important to note that getting a conviction expunged does not:

  • Reinstate your 2nd Amendment rights (your right to possess a firearm)
  • Remove the arrest or conviction from public record or remove the conviction from your California or FBI record.
  • Stop any required registration as a sex offender.
  • Stop the increase of penalties for certain subsequent convictions.

A Westminster attorney could explain all of these functions of an expungement if someone is interested in having their criminal conviction dismissed.

How Long Does an Expungement Take?

The expungement process typically takes three to four months. If the expungement is handled in certain courts or the case is older than 10 years, the process will likely take longer. At the West Justice Center, expungements only take around six to eight weeks.

Factors that can affect the length of the process include whether the conviction was a felony or misdemeanor, how old the conviction is, whether the case is in the courthouse’s current database, and whether the case file is in an off-site storage facility. A Westminster lawyer could help move the expungement process along if there are legal challenges delaying the case.

Contact our Westminster Expungement Attorneys Today

Having a criminal conviction on your record can damage your reputation, negatively affect your personal and professional lives, limit employment and housing opportunities, create child custody issues, and deprive you of your right to vote and carry a firearm. Our Westminster expungement lawyers could help you limit these consequences by filing for the dismissal of your criminal conviction. Our experienced attorneys could review the specifics of your criminal conviction and determine if you are eligible to have your case dismissed.

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