A penal code 1203.4 expungement can give you a second chance at life. A conviction can prevent you from obtaining employment, housing, and even a professional license. But, a penal code 1203.4 expungement can prevent private individuals and employers from using your conviction against you. If granted, your private employer can no longer pass you over for a promotion. A private employer will no longer be able to use your conviction to deny you employment. Below are some of the expungement requirements you may want to begin to think of when applying for a penal code 1203.4 expungement.
Two types of penal code 1203.4 expungements
There are two basic penal code 1203.4 expungements: mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory expungements are petitions the Court must grant. There are two circumstances under which expungements are mandatory. First, when the defendant has successfully completed probation. Second, if the Court terminated probation early after successful performance. So long as your conviction is a qualifying conviction and either circumstance is present, you’re eligible to petition the court for an expungement.
That being said, unfortunately there are often hiccups in mandatory petitions. The District Attorney may oppose the petition. Our experienced expungement attorney can reduce any hiccups and argue against any District Attorney opposition.. Call 714-361-4191 or contact us online for a free consultation regarding your expungement.
But, not all expungements are mandatory. Instead, some expungements are discretionary. A discretionary expungement is one where the Court may, not must, grant. There are two circumstances when an expungement is discretionary. First, if you violated probation. Second, convictions of certain crimes such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Instead, the court has discretion to grant or deny your expungement request. Therefore, even if you have violated the terms of your probation, you still may be eligible for an expungement. But, a discretionary expungement requires extra work on your part.
Read all about the expungement process here.
So what are the expungement requirements. In other words, what does the court look at to determine whether to grant your discretionary expungement? In short, the court will look at your (1) post-probation conduct and (2) hardships caused by the conviction. The court will then weigh this against any negative factors. The court will then determine whether to grant your expungement.
Putting in work for a discretionary expungement
First, the court analyzes post-probation conduct to determine whether you have rehabilitated yourself. We can call post-probation conduct “putting in work.” You must put in work that is reflective of rehabilitation. The expungement process begins the day after conviction. Putting more work in during your probation period increases your chance the expungement will be granted.
Sometimes you may hear a judge/attorney say the Court looks to see whether you would make a good neighbor. If the judge believes you would be a bad neighbor, the judge may not grant your discretionary expungement. Thus, you must put in work to show you would make a good neighbor.
- Volunteer work;
- Obtaining education certificates, school degrees, or diplomas;
- Going back to school;
- Obtaining your GED
- Successful employment;
- Obtaining work related certificates
- Sobriety and continued participation in Alcohol or Narcotics Anonymous if applicable;
- Character reference letters indicating your conduct has been reflective of rehabilitation;
- Length of good conduct;
- And any other evidence of conduct proving your rehabilitation
Second, the court looks at hardships your conviction has caused. The court may sympathize with significant hardships caused by your conviction. Thus the court may grant a discretionary expungement due to significant hardships. Generally, these hardships must be significant. Not every hardship will count.
- Inability to obtain employment due to conviction;
- Inability to meet child or spousal support obligations due to conviction;
- Loss of professional license due to conviction;
- Inability to obtain housing due to conviction;
- And any other hardship caused by your conviction.
These hardships tend to prevent your efforts of continued rehabilitation. As such, these hardships tend to be in your favor in determining whether to grant your discretionary expungement.
The Court will balance your post-probation conduct and hardships against any negative factors.
- Your criminal history;
- The seriousness of your criminal offense;
- And other bad post-probation conduct indicating a lack of rehabilitation.
Everyone deserves a second chance. A penal code 1203.4 expungement will do just that. Do not let a conviction stop your ability to provide for your family or succeed in life. Talk to Attorney Matthew Hicks, an Orange County Expungement Attorney, to see how he can help today. Call 714-361-4191 or contact us online for a free consultation.