Expungement and Criminal Record Clearing Attorneys

– PROTECT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY –

We believe that making a poor decision in your life should not haunt you for years. Our criminal defense attorneys at the Abrate & Olsen Law Group are here to guide you through the expungement and criminal record clearing process. The State of California has many options to help clear your criminal record and this can mean a fresh start on life.

Having a misdemeanor, felony, California DUI, or infraction on your record can affect many areas of your life. Whether looking to get hired at a new job, promoted at your current job, travel internationally, or applying to rent housing, a criminal record can impact your status. With the increase of technology, running a criminal background check online is fast and easy for anyone to do. Luckily, we have helped many clients determine if past offences are eligible to have their California criminal record expunged.

Record Clearing Options in California

The record clearing options available to you depend on a range of factors in your original criminal case, including:

  • Type of Charge and Conviction (Infraction, Misdemeanor, Felony)
  • Court Sentence (Probation, County Jail, State Prison, Parole)
  • Year of Certain Convictions
  • Completion of All Court Orders (Time served, Fines and restitution fully paid, Probation completed)
  • Age at Time of Conviction (Juvenile/Minors)

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

Expungement

If your criminal case resulted in a probation sentence, in most cases you will be eligible for expungement under California Penal Code 1203.4. Infractions, misdemeanors, DUIs, and even some felony offenses fall into this option. Even If you had a probation violation you may still be eligible to expunge your case, although the process can be more challenging. An experienced expungement attorney, like Michael Abrate and Daniel Olsen can review your legal situation to evaluate your eligibility for expungement.

Felony Expungement

A felony conviction, that resulted in probation as your sentence, may still provide an expungement as the best option. If your sentence required time served in a California State Prison, you do not have the option of filing a motion for expungement. However, you may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Consulting with a record clearing lawyer will allow you to better understand the options available to you.

Certificate of Rehabilitation

Pursuant to California Penal Code 4851, a felony conviction that resulted in serving time in a California State Prison will likely allow you the option to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. When you obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation, an automatic application is created to receive a pardon from the Governor. This puts a positive mark on your record that may potentially make professional and vocational licenses, that were previously unattainable, available to you.

Felony Reduction

Under California Penal Code section 17(B), your felony conviction, that resulted in a probation sentence, could be reduced to a misdemeanor on your record. Reducing your felony to a misdemeanor conviction restores your rights that were lost such as the right to own a firearm and voting. Our experienced law firm can walk you through the felony reduction process.

Probation Termination

If you are currently still on probation, it is possible to return to court to request the judge to end the probation sentence. Our criminal defense lawyers have realized the greatest level of successfully terminating probation for clients comes when at least half of the original probation sentence has been completed. Following a successful termination of probation, you are often able to petition to have the record expunged. Contact the Attorneys at the Abrate & Olsen Law Group to discuss this strategy to clear your record.

Arrest Record Sealing

An arrest in California, where your criminal case did not result in a conviction or an alternative diversion program, will likely be eligible for an Arrest Record Sealing pursuant to Penal Code 851.8. In order to successfully have your arrest record sealed, you must prove to the judge that “no reasonable cause exists to believe that the arrestee committed the offense for which the arrest was made.” While this is a high standard to achieve, our experienced record sealing lawyers will review your case to gauge the likelihood of your success.

Drug Diversion Record Sealing

If your criminal drug case resulted in a drug diversion program as part of your sentencing, we may be able to petition the court on your behalf to have your record sealed. There are two qualifications you must meet in order to be eligible:

  1. Court ordered drug diversion program pursuant to Penal Code 1000.5 or a deferred entry of judgement program pursuant to Penal Codes 1000 or 8
  2. Successful completion of the court ordered program

If your case persuades the judge to believe the interest of justice will be served by sealing the records, they will issue an order stating the arresting agency (not including the Department of Justice) and court records are sealed, and no one is allowed access to the records.

Options Specific to Juveniles

We understand that you may have made a bad decision while a minor. The State of California has options available to clear or seal your juvenile record. If your criminal case occurred when you were under the age of eighteen years old, you may be eligible to have your juvenile record sealed. If your case resulted in a sentence to the California Youth Authority (CYA), and you were honorably discharged from the program, you may qualify for a Juvenile Set Aside and record sealing. We will review the facts of your case to uncover the options available to you.

How to Know if You Qualify for Expungement in California

Under California Penal Code 1203.4, citizens who have been convicted of most infractions, misdemeanors and felonies can have their case reopened, remove the finding of guilt, and have the case dismissed (expunged). Following this process, the criminal conviction is removed from their record, and in all but three very specific circumstances, they are able to lawfully say they were never convicted.

To qualify for California expungement, you must first meet three requirements:

  1. Completed court ordered probation or wait one year on low-level misdemeanors or infractions where probation was not given.
  2. Paid all fines and restitution issued by the court.
  3. Not be currently facing any additional charges or serving any other sentence.

Criminal cases that ended in parole are not eligible for expungement in the State of California.

Understanding the California Expungement and Record Clearing Process

Navigating the process for having your criminal record expunged or sealed can be confusing and complicated. Attorneys Michael Abrate and Daniel Olsen are here to guide you through the process and fight for your right to clear your record.

Post-conviction relief proceedings depend on the facts of the original case and if the District Attorney objects to the court granting relief. As former Sacramento County Deputy District Attorneys, Mike and Dan are able to use their experience to thoroughly review the facts of your case and uncover potential issues. They can use the relationships they formed as prosecutors to uncover any concerns the DA’s office may have. With this knowledge, Mike and Dan craft a persuasive argument of the facts and law in front of a judge.

The application process varies from court to court within the California Court System. Many expungement requests that are denied in California are due to errors made by people who lack experience with the specific court handling their case or expungement law as a whole. Hiring a lawyer or law firm, like the Abrate and Olsen Law Group, who has a proven record of successfully representing clients, is the best way to avoid costly delays and mistakes and achieve a successful outcome for your expungement hearing.

How to Expunge Your California Criminal Record

An expungement, also referred to as a 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 motion with the court. 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.

Criminal Offenses Not Eligible for Expungement

There are specific offences that are not eligible for expungement in California, including violations of:

There are a few exceptions to some of these restrictions. These exceptions will likely require additional time and expense. We are happy to review your situation with you and present potential options available.

  • Convictions to Penal Code 288 prior to 1997 may be eligible in some circumstances.
  • Convictions for Penal Code section 311.1, 311.2, 311.3 and 311.11 prior to 2012, may be eligible.

Expunge Your Criminal Record with Confidence

Our law firm has a high rate of successfully representing our clients in their record sealing and expungement hearings. We understand that you may not be the person that you were when you made a bad decision earlier in life. You can have peace of mind that we take the time to review the unique facts of your case to develop the best strategy to successfully have your criminal record sealed or expunged.

When you trust the record sealing and expungement lawyers at The Abrate & Olsen Law Group, we will first establish what options your situation is eligible for. We then take into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of your case to craft the best argument to present to the court. If a long time has passed since your conviction, we will be able to highlight the positive accomplishments and changes you have made in your life. The ability to show any hardships that you are experiencing due to your criminal record will also improve your chances for success.

If you are considering your options to have your criminal record sealed or expunged, your best chance of success is working with experienced attorneys who can help navigate you through the process. We are former prosecutors for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office with over 20 years of combined experience ready to fight for your rights. Please schedule a free consultation where we can review your case, present the options available to you, and give you an idea of the chance of being successful.

Act Fast to Protect Your Legal Rights and Future

REQUEST A FREE CASE EVALUATION TODAY

After selecting the Abrate and Olsen Law Group to represent you, we immediately go into damage control for you. Any criminal case carries the risk of incarceration. Your fingerprints, photograph, and arrest record could be discovered by others. A guilty conviction could result in jail time and give future employers, agencies, and governments the ability to deny employment, licenses, travel, and benefits. Anything you say to law enforcement or in court could compound these problems. Our proven criminal defense strategy is designed to carefully consider ways to mitigate or eliminate these consequences with every action we take in your defense. Our experience as former prosecutors for the DA’s Office gives us a unique understanding of the Sacramento criminal procedure law that allows us to recognize important defenses, loopholes, technicalities, and other ways to fight for a dismissal or reduction of your charges.

When you contact us, we take the time to get to know you and make sure we understand all the details of your situation. As part of our legal strategy, we analyze all the evidence and legal documents, submit evidence of your good character, speak with witnesses, and file necessary legal motions and pleadings to get your charges dismissed or reduced. We may bring in a private investigator to research the case further. By submitting legal arguments on your behalf and negotiating with the prosecutor, we can push back against the charges. Should your case lead to trial, you can rest assured that you are represented by a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. We will be prepared to aggressively cross-examine the government’s witnesses and forcefully argue for an acquittal.

Criminal Defense FAQ

What happens after a person is arrested?

While every situation may have differences, generally a person who has been arrested is brought to the police station where he/she is “booked”. This means the law enforcement agency will take personal, historical and biographical information. Law enforcement uses this information to determine if the individual has any warrants or a criminal history to aid in the evaluation of whether or not he/she can be released from custody or if the payment of a bail/bond is required.

Depending upon the jurisdiction, if the authorities intend to detain an individual, the accused may have a right to have their detention reviewed by a judicial official.

Generally, the police will file a criminal complaint with the DA’s Office and the individual will be required to appear in court. During the arrest procedure, officers may also seize property, records, and/or additional materials as evidence.

To ensure your rights are protected and to get the best understanding of the charges against you, contact our law firm for a free evaluation of your case.

Should I hire a lawyer before posting bail?

An arraignment hearing is usually the first step in the criminal procedure that takes place in a courtroom before a judge or magistrate. The Arraignment Hearing protects your right guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Specifically, the right “to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation”.

You can expect the following at an arraignment hearing:

  • A reading of the charges against you
  • You generally enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest)
  • The court will determine if you are eligible for bail and/or release. This may be held over for a formal bail hearing
  • A future court date will be set (usually for a status conference)

Hiring an attorney that is experienced in criminal law to represent you at your arraignment is the best way to protect your rights. When facing criminal charges, having a dedicated defense team to provide you with legal advice, rather than a public defender who can often be overwhelmed with other cases, is your best choice. Contact Mike and Dan at the Abrate and Olsen Law Group for a free case evaluation today.

What is an arraignment?

In California, there are three types of warrants that may be issued against you, an arrest warrant, search warrant, and bench warrant. Understanding how each warrant can affect you is vital to protecting your rights. If you have a warrant, contact our criminal defense lawyers to review your situation and develop a defense strategy for your case.

Do I need to hire an attorney if I plan on pleading guilty?

After being detained, the accused may be given the option to post bail as a promise to appear for a court date rather than remain in jail until the first hearing. The reality is that the bail amount could be raised, lowered, or revoked at the arraignment.

Consulting with an attorney from our Sacramento law office will allow them to review the current facts of your case and give you legal advice on the best strategy regarding your bail. This could potentially save you thousands in bail bonds fees.

If your bail is initially set at $100,000, a bail bonds agency will charge you or your loved ones $10,000 to post the bail for you. Should your lawyer successfully get your bail reduced or get your criminal case dismissed at the arraignment, the initial bond fee is not returned.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and have questions about your bail options, please call our experienced criminal defense law firm for a free evaluation of your case today.

Can I be charged with a DUI after one drink?

After being detained, the accused may be given the option to post bail as a promise to appear for a court date rather than remain in jail until the first hearing. The reality is that the bail amount could be raised, lowered, or revoked at the arraignment.

Consulting with an attorney from our Sacramento law office will allow them to review the current facts of your case and give you legal advice on the best strategy regarding your bail. This could potentially save you thousands in bail bonds fees.

If your bail is initially set at $100,000, a bail bonds agency will charge you or your loved ones $10,000 to post the bail for you. Should your lawyer successfully get your bail reduced or get your criminal case dismissed at the arraignment, the initial bond fee is not returned.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and have questions about your bail options, please call our experienced criminal defense law firm for a free evaluation of your case today.

What should I do if I have a warrant?

After being detained, the accused may be given the option to post bail as a promise to appear for a court date rather than remain in jail until the first hearing. The reality is that the bail amount could be raised, lowered, or revoked at the arraignment.

Consulting with an attorney from our Sacramento law office will allow them to review the current facts of your case and give you legal advice on the best strategy regarding your bail. This could potentially save you thousands in bail bonds fees.

If your bail is initially set at $100,000, a bail bonds agency will charge you or your loved ones $10,000 to post the bail for you. Should your lawyer successfully get your bail reduced or get your criminal case dismissed at the arraignment, the initial bond fee is not returned.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and have questions about your bail options, please call our experienced criminal defense law firm for a free evaluation of your case today.

Free Consultation