Can a Domestic Violence Case Be Expunged?

A Riverside criminal attorney and defendant in court room

“Expungement” means to have a previous conviction on your record removed. If you have a criminal charge expunged, that means the conviction typically no longer shows up on your record if a background check is done, for example, by an employer or landlord. In other words, if it has been expunged, it is no longer attached to your history. Also, expunged convictions do not need to be disclosed on job applications. To learn whether your record might be expunged, reach out to a Riverside domestic violence lawyer today.

Can California Domestic Violence Charges Be Expunged?

In California, misdemeanor domestic violence charges can be expunged from your record if you meet certain requirements. If you served in state prison for the domestic violence charge or it was a felony conviction, it can not be expunged.

You are also not eligible for expungement if:

  1. You are still on active probation for any crime (this or another)
  2. You are currently incarcerated for any crime (this or another)
  3. You have been charged with any crime (this or another)

Options for Felony Domestic Violence Convictions

Prop 47, passed in 2014, reclassified some previous felony convictions as misdemeanors. For example, non-violent felony convictions may be reclassified if:

  1. You have served your full jail sentence and probationary period
  2. You don’t owe any outstanding fees, restitution, or fines

A petition does have to be made to the original judge who imposed your sentence. No court appearances or hearings are required. Once the conviction gets reclassified on your criminal record, then you can begin the expungement process.

In certain cases, ineligible individuals may be able to seek relief via:

  1. A commuted sentence
  2. A pardon from the governor’s office
  3. By providing a “Certificate of Rehabilitation”

Who Can See an Expunged Conviction?

In the “Freedom of Information Act” era, criminal records are public. To be clear, that means there would be certain channels in which people can find this information about you. Nevertheless, those who have expunged their records report that it is easier:

  1. to get hired for jobs
  2. to get approved for professional licensing
  3. to maintain immigration status/benefits
  4. to get approved for housing
  5. to get closure and look towards the future with a clean slate

Can I Own a Gun Once My Record is Expunged?

Whether your record gets expunged or not, the ten-year “no firearms” restriction for domestic violence convictions will remain in effect. California Penal Code Section 12021 bans even misdemeanor domestic violence perpetrators from having second amendment rights (“the right to keep and bear arms”). Additionally, the Violence Against Women Act is a federal statute with a lifetime ban for domestic violence perpetrators (even misdemeanors).

A Riverside Domestic Violence Attorney to Expunge Your Record

DeLimon Law in Riverside, California, has reasonable and competitive rates for domestic violence expungement cases. We highly encourage you to learn more about the level of service, commitment, integrity, and passion we deliver to our clients. To schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation, please fill out our contact form, and we will respond right away.

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