Have a criminal record in California? Curious about the new California expungement law? We’ve got you covered.
In a state where legal reforms constantly evolve, staying in the know is crucial. Our article delves into the ins and outs of this new law, explaining what it means for you and your record. This information is essential if you’re seeking a fresh start, wondering about your rights, or simply navigating the legal landscape.
Read on to uncover how the latest California expungement law can shape your future and provide clarity in a complex legal world.
What Is the New California Expungement Law?
The new expungement law in California is a law that lets people with certain criminal charges get their records wiped clean. If certain conditions are met, the court may agree to remove and seal a criminal record, making it impossible for the public to see.
This law is meant to give people a second chance after serving their time and changing their lives. The new rule makes it easier for people to clear their records and move on from mistakes they’ve made in the past. This gives them more chances to find work, a place to live, and other opportunities.
What Are the Recent Changes to the Expungement Laws?
The expungement laws in California have recently undergone some significant changes. Here are some you should know:
Expansion of Eligible Offenses
A recent change to the California rule on expungement is that it now covers a wider range of crimes. It lets people convicted of certain crimes get them taken off their record, giving them a fresh start in their personal and professional lives.
Before, expungement was only available for small crimes, but a recent change has made it possible for many more people to get it. This includes crimes like large-scale theft, forgery, and some drug crimes.
This growth is important because it allows people to move on from their mistakes and have a fair chance at different things. It also shows that California is moving toward a criminal justice system that focuses on helping people get better.
Change in the Waiting Period
In California, the waiting time for expungement has recently changed significantly. Before, people had to wait a long time before they could apply to have their crime records erased. But California’s new expungement law has cut the waiting time, so people with certain misdemeanor and felony convictions can now ask for expungement much sooner.
This change to the waiting time is meant to give people with past convictions a second chance to get past the problems that may make it hard for them to find work or a place to live. It is a step in the right direction toward helping people with crime records get better and rejoin society.
Implementation of an Automatic Expungement Process
With the new addition of an automatic expungement process in California, the law on expungement has changed significantly. With this new process, some criminal records will be automatically erased after a set amount of time instead of going through a long and often expensive court process. This change is meant to give people a second chance and help them get back on their feet after paying their bills to society.
Fees for Expungement
Fees for expungement are a new part of the law in California, which has caused a stir among people who want to get their crime records cleared. Before this change, people who wanted to get their records erased had to pay a fee of $60.
However, the new law put a tiered fee system in place, which means that the clearance cost now depends on how bad the crime was. Because of this, some people have to pay up to $200 for a petition, making it hard for low-income people to get their records erased.
Who Is Eligible?
The New California Expungement Law aims to give individuals a second chance by erasing certain criminal records from their past. However, not everyone can have their record expunged under this law. Check these eligible factors:
No Current Charges
Under this law, “No Current Charges” is one of the things that can be expunged. This means that a person’s old conviction may be erased if they don’t have any new charges against them.
This factor recognizes that everyone makes mistakes and gives people who have been good a second chance. It also gives people a reason to stay on the right road and avoid doing anything illegal.
Type of Offense Committed
The type of offense committed has always been a crucial factor in determining the eligibility for expungement in California. However, it has become an even more significant factor under the new expungement law.
The law relieves a wider range of offenses, making it easier for individuals to have their criminal records expunged. However, certain offenses, such as sexual offenses, serious felonies, and violent crimes, are still not eligible for expungement. This ensures that the safety and well-being of the community are not compromised.
Completion of Probation
The New California Expungement Law says that finishing probation is one of the things that can help someone get their crime record wiped clean. This means that people who have finished their probation without breaking the rules or getting new criminal charges may be able to get their past crimes taken off their record. This can greatly affect their lives because having a criminal record can make it harder to get a job or find a place to live.
When people finish their probation, it shows that they have finished their terms and haven’t done anything wrong since. This eligibility factor considers their attempts to improve and allows them to start over.
Payment of Fines
The New California Expungement Law makes paying fines one of the things that can be used to get a record erased. People with illegal records can get their records cleared under this law, which gives them a second chance to start over.
Paying charges is an important part of this law because it shows that the person is responsible and has finished their punishment for breaking the law. With this part of the clearance process, people are more likely to take responsibility for their actions and work toward a better future.
Step-By-Step Guide To Filing for Expungement Under California’s New Law
Please note that you should consult with an attorney or check with the California courts or legal resources for the most up-to-date information on expungement laws in the state. Here’s a step-by-step guide to filing for expungement in Los Angeles, California:
Collect Your Records
Gathering your criminal records is an essential part of the expungement process. You must obtain copies of your court documents and probation or parole information.
These records can typically be requested from the court where your case was adjudicated. Ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork to support your expungement petition.
Consult an Attorney (Optional)
Although you are not required to have legal representation for expungement, seeking advice from an attorney with expertise in this area can be highly beneficial. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process, assess your unique situation, ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria, and eventually expunge criminal record. They can also assist in preparing your paperwork correctly.
Fill Out Forms
Obtain the required forms for expungement, which can often be found on your county court’s website or at the courthouse. Two commonly used forms are the “Petition for Dismissal” (CR-180) and the “Order for Dismissal” (CR-181). It’s essential to complete these forms accurately, following the provided instructions meticulously to avoid any complications during the process.
File Your Petition
Head to the court clerk’s office in the county where your conviction occurred to file your completed expungement forms. Be prepared to pay a filing fee unless you qualify for a fee waiver based on financial hardship. Ensure you have all the necessary documents to submit your petition successfully.
Serve the District Attorney
After filing your petition, you must serve a copy to the district attorney’s office handling your case. This step allows the district attorney to review your request and potentially raise objections if they choose to do so. Providing notice to the district attorney is an essential part of the process.
Attend the Hearing (If Required)
Sometimes, a hearing may be scheduled to review your expungement petition. If a hearing is necessary, be prepared to attend and present your case to the judge. During the hearing, you can explain why your conviction should be expunged, emphasizing your rehabilitation and commitment to leading a law-abiding life.
Obtain the Expungement Order
If the judge approves your petition, you’ll receive an expungement order, often called the “Order for Dismissal” (CR-181). It’s essential to obtain multiple certified copies of this order, as you will need them to update your criminal record and provide proof of your expungement.
Unlock Your Future With the New California Expungement Law
In conclusion, the new California expungement law provides a helpful opportunity for individuals to clear their criminal records and start fresh. With its simplified application process and expanded eligibility criteria, those with a criminal record must explore this option.
Don’t let a past mistake hold you back. Take advantage of this law and contact legal help to help clear your record today.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you found it helpful, be sure to check out our blog for more informative resources.