We understand that you may make a bad decision at one point in your life. However, we believe that it should not continue to haunt you and follow you through your career, especially after you have paid your debt to society and secured employment. Our experienced expungement and criminal record sealing attorneys at the Abrate & Olsen Law Group are here to help guide you through the legal process to petition the courts and begin a fresh start.
New Criminal Background Checks Could Cost CA State Jobs
Nine California state departments have been informed that their current criminal background check procedures do not meet some federal guidelines. The Association of California State Supervisors (ACSS) and other labor unions have been notified by CalHR, that state workers who handle taxpayer information will be required to undergo mandatory criminal background checks.
According to notices sent to labor unions, if the background checks reveal a past criminal conviction in California or outside, employees could be “non-punitively separated” from state service. However, there is still hope to save your state job. The State of California provides many options to help you expunge or seal your criminal record.
Why There is a Change to the Background Check Policy
According to the ACSS, the new background check policies are intended to bring California in compliance with federal guidelines from the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security. According to the IRS Safeguard Program, “The Safeguards Program and staff are responsible for ensuring that federal, state and local agencies receiving federal tax information protect it as if the information remained in IRS’s hands.”
This program requires that all California state employees and contractors who have access to, or may come in contact with, federal taxpayer information, must pass a criminal background check. The affected departments have not given a schedule of when the checks will begin. Additionally, it is still unclear which past criminal convictions would disqualify a worker from civil service.
What California State Agencies Will be Affected
According to a Sacramento Bee article by Adam Ashton, “Labor notifications about the background checks show the state is casting a wide net in considering who might be able to observe sensitive information.” The article also notes that a relatively small percentage of the 250,000 current California State Government Employees were required to pass a criminal back ground check before starting their job.
The ACSS has been notified that several agencies will be changing their policies to become compliant, these agencies include:
- Department of Social Services
- Employment Development Department
- Department of General Services
- California Department of Fee and Tax Agency
- CalOES (Federal Suitability Screenings)
Additionally, similar notifications have gone out to the state government’s largest union, Service Employees Union International Local 1000 who represent workers from:
- Franchise Tax Board
- California Department of Technology
- Department of Child Support Services
- Covered California
- Board of Equalization
- State Controller’s Office
What Criminal Charges May Affect the Background Check
At this time, it remains uncertain which criminal convictions would disqualify a worker from civil service. Representatives from the various Unions have spoken with state officials who have confirmed that misdemeanors and felonies will be included on the background check. This could include:
- DUI Charges
- Petty Theft
- Marijuana Convictions and other Drug Charges
- Sex Offenders
- Criminal Convictions that resulted in a diversion program
Clean Your Past, Protect Your Future
Luckily the new policy changes for criminal background check does not mean that you need to start job hunting. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys, Michael Abrate and Daniel Olsen are here to guide you through the legal process of sealing your criminal record or having it expunged.
The State of California has many potential post-conviction relief options available to you depending on your legal situation, including:
- Misdemeanor Expungement
- Felony Expungement
- Certificate of Rehabilitation
- Felony Reduction
- Probation Termination
- Arrest Record Sealing
- Drug Diversion Sealing
- Options Specific to Juveniles
How to Expunge Your California Criminal Record
An expungement, also referred to as a California Penal Code 1203.4 Dismissal, is a type of post-conviction relief that begins by filing a motion with the court where you were originally convicted. The motion requests a judge to reopen the case, review the facts and content of the motion including any evidence that is submitted, remove the finding of guilt, and ultimately dismiss the court case.
When you hire the California expungement attorneys at the Abrate and Olsen Law Group, we handle the full record clearing process for you. We start by reviewing your original criminal case, including the charges, evidence, and court records. Your lawyer will then begin to craft your case and prepare any evidence that is needed. Our law firm will then prepare all the required legal documents and file the petition with the courts. Should the District Attorney’s Office have any opposition to the motion, you can rest assured that Mike and Dan will be fully prepared to respond to their concerns. Finally, your attorney will attend any court hearings to argue your case before the judge.
In many of our record clearing cases, we are able to appear on your behalf for the hearings. Only in specific situations are you required to appear in court. This means by hiring an experienced law office to represent you not only gives you the best chance to have your expungement granted, but also saves you time and stress. As with many court proceedings, expungement hearings often require hours of waiting in court to have your motion heard.
If your expungement is granted, the judge hearing your case will sign a court order that changes your plea to not guilty and dismisses the case. The court then changes your records in California and instructs other government agencies to update their records to reflect the change. Privately owned background check companies are updated with the change when they perform their periodic updates. These updates are generally performed once a year.
We Will Aggressively Fight to Help Protect Your Job
You don’t have to let a bad decision in your past affect your professional future. We are here to answer your questions, prepare and file the required legal documents and forms, and represent you in your expungement or criminal record sealing process. Contact our law office today for a free confidential legal consultation.
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