How long does it take to expunge your record in California?
This depends on what county and court has jurisdiction over your case. In some counties, a case be expunged in 15-30 days. In other counties, the process can take up to three months. If you would like to know how long the process takes in the county of your conviction, do not hesitate to reach out to attorney Scott Dicus, as he is familiar with the nuances in every court in California.
Do you accept payments?
In most cases we do accept payments. However, all fees must be paid before the case is completed.
Why are court filing fees not included in your prices?
There are two reasons.
First, our firm does not include filing fees in our prices because many counties do not charge filing fees (other law firms don't tell you this), and filing fees vary from county to county. It does not make sense to charge someone in Alameda or Riverside County (no filing fees) the same price as someone in Santa Clara County (filing fees are $150). Most of our competitors charge a flat rate, regardless of whether or not there are filing fees, and we do not believe this is fair to our clients.
Second, we do not include filing fees because many of our clients elect to file a request to have filing fees waived. If you are currently unemployed, or only working part-time, the court may determine that you do not need to pay any filing fees at all. This saves you money, and it is our goal to make the expungement process as painless and affordable as possible.
What happens after my California criminal record is expunged?
After the expungement is complete the court will change the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under 1203.4 of the Penal Code. The court clerk will then notify the California Department of Justice and the FBI and they will update their files to reflect a new plea of "not guilty" being entered and that the case has been ordered dismissed by the court. However, general commercial background searches, like most private employers conduct, will show no criminal record. At this point our office will send you a court order signed by a judge indicating that your record was expunged. We will also notify you of your eligiblity for our Criminal Record Database Update service, which we provide at a discounted rate for QikLaw clients.
What if my case gets denied?
Mr. Dicus personally reviews all cases and will only take a case if he believes that he will be able to obtain a favorable result. In the unlikely event that your case is denied, Mr. Dicus will evaluate the reason for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If he determines that refiling is the best course of action then he will do so at no extra cost to you. If not, then you will receive your money back through our money back guarantee.
Will a felony expungement restore my right to own a firearm?
An expungement alone will NOT restore your right to own a firearm. However, if having a felony is the only reason you cannot possess a firearm, reducing that felony to a misdemeanor may restore your firearm rights. For example, if you have a felony possession (HS 11377a), and you reduce this felony to a misdemeanor, your firearm rights should be reinstated. However, there are other reasons your firearm rights will still be denied even after you reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. For example, in California there are certain violent misdemeanors that require the State of California to take away your right to possess a firearm for ten years. The ten-year ban begins on the date of your conviction and obtaining an expungement does not restore this right. You must wait until the 10-year ban is over to have your rights restored. Additionally, there is a lifetime prohibition on firearm ownership for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence as defined by federal law. See The Lautenberg Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act.
After your felony has been reduced to a misdemeanor, before purchasing or possessing a firearm, you will need to contact the Department of Justice in California or the FBI to verify that those rights have been fully restored and that you can legally possess a firearm.
Will a felony expungement remove a strike for purposes of California's Three Strikes Law?
Having your record expunged will not remove a strike from your record, but having your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor prior to expungement may reduce the severity of a future sentence if you were to be convicted again.