California law allows a person who has been convicted of an infraction to have that infraction expunged. A California infraction expungement is a legal process that petitions the Court to review an infraction conviction to determine if the petitioner is eligible to withdraw their plea or finding of guilt, enter a not guilty plea, and order the case dismissed. The decision to expunge an infraction is sometimes at the discretion of the judge and the decision may be opposed by the the local District Attorney’s (DA) office for the relevant county. If the infraction expungement is opposed, a court hearing is typically scheduled to hear the merits of the case. We attend this hearing, present your case to the court and address the opposing agency’s arguments.
Once granted, an infraction expungement changes and updates the disposition of the case to reflect a dismissal under Penal Code 1203.4. This means that the court file, the California Department of Justice, and the FBI update their files to reflect that a plea of not guilty has been entered and that the case has been ordered dismissed.
After your infraction is expunged, you will be eligible for our Criminal Record Database Update service and we can update your criminal record with over 600 different private background check companies. This will greatly increase the likelihood of passing future employment background checks.
California Penal Code Section 1203.4 provides in part:
“Petitioner shall be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted.”
*Prices do not include court filing fees. Fees vary from county to county and range from $0 – $150. For more information on filing fees for this service, please visit our Filing Fees page. Additionally, If you violated any of the terms of your probation there is an additional charge of $200.
There are a number of benefits to having your misdemeanor expunged. Most importantly, in an application for private employment you can truthfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime as long as all crimes that you have been convicted of have been expunged. Expunging your infraction will increase the likelihood of obtaining state licenses and facilitate travel to Canada and other countries.
Lastly, after your infraction is expunged, you will be eligible for our Criminal Record Database Update service and we will update your criminal record with over 600 different private background check companies. This will greatly increase the likelihood of passing future private employment background checks.
- Attorney Scott Dicus will gather information about your case from a variety of sources.
- Mr. Dicus will review your case and determine the most effective and most expeditious course of action.
- In certain cases, a supporting declaration will be prepared for you to review and sign (this way it is not required that you go to court).
- Mr. Dicus will prepare the petition along with all supporting exhibits and attachments.
- A proposed order will be provided to the court.
- The complete petition is filed with the appropriate court, a hearing is scheduled, and the prosecuting agencies are notified.
- Mr. Dicus will follow up with the prosecuting agencies to determine if there is any opposition.
- Mr. Dicus will attend the hearing to argue on your behalf and counter any opposition provided by the prosecuting agency’s attorney.
- Our office will follow up with the court after the hearing to ensure that the clerk has processed the order and notified the Department of Justice.
- Once the order granting your expungement has been signed by the judge, Mr. Dicus will obtain a copy of the order and provide you with evidence of the expungement for you to keep with your records.
- Mr. Dicus will notify you of your eligiblity for our Criminal Record Database Update service, which we provide at a discounted rate for QikLaw clients.
- Once the expungement has been granted, you can begin telling most potential employers that you have never been convicted of a crime.
* Note that because each case is unique and there are some procedural differences for each county in California your case may not follow our process outline exactly.
What are the main reasons an infraction expugement gets denied?
If an expungement is denied, it is usually for one of several reasons: an inaccuracy in the court file, an inaccuracy in the application, the court does not believe it will be in the interest of society, violation of probation, or not paying fines. However, you greatly lower your chances of denial by hiring an attorney to prepare, review and submit your record clearing petition. Our office will verify all case information with the court prior to filing the petition, increasing the likelihood of success.
What if my case gets denied?
If your case is denied, our attorneys will evaluate the purpose for the denial and determine the best way to proceed. If our attorneys determine that refiling is the best course of action then we will do so at no extra cost to you. If not, then you will receive your money back through our money back guarantee.
What happens after my infraction conviction 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 California Department of Justice and the FBI will then 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.
How do the background check agencies and companies know my expungement was granted?
The judge’s signed order will be sent to the Department of Justice so they may update their records. All background check companies and agencies get their criminal history information from the court or Department of Justice. However, we can notify private background check companies through our Criminal Record Database Update service, which we provide at a discounted rate for QikLaw clients.
How long does it take for the records to be updated?
The court will usually update their records within 48 hours and the Dept. of Justice will update its file within 30 days.
Will this help with my immigration application?
While you will need to disclose the case on any immigration applications, immigration attorneys have informed us that petitioners will have a better chance for a favorable immigration application if you have a clean criminal background. If you have additional questions about immigration issues, it is recommended that you speak with an immigration attorney.