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California Expungements – FAQ

Below are answers to questions clients frequently ask about expungements.

  1. What Exactly Is an Expungement?
  2. Do I Qualify for a California Expungement?
  3. After an Expungement Can I State That I Was Never Convicted?
  4. Can My Felony Conviction Be Expunged or Reduced to a Misdemeanor?
  5. How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?
What Exactly Is an Expungement?

An expungement is a the dismissal of your case as a result of a successful petition under California Penal Code, § 1203.4. Attorney John Stanko expunges criminal records throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and all over California. Mr. Stanko can handle the entire process for you, from beginning to end.

At the conclusion of a successful expungement your original plea of guilty or no contest will be withdrawn, a new plea of not guilty will be entered, and your case will be dismissed. The court will then send a copy of the judge’s expungement order of dismissal to the California Department of Justice, where the dismissal will be reflected on your criminal record and your FBI record.

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Do I Qualify for a California Expungement?

Under Penal Code 1203.4 a you will qualify for an expungement if you have successfully completed probation for the conviction you seek to expunge, you are not on probation for any other conviction and you are not now facing any new charges.

However, even if you had problems on probation, you may still qualify for an expungement. A court could find that there is good cause to dismiss your case.

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After an Expungement Can I State That I Was Never Convicted?

In most cases the answer is yes. Under the California Code of Regulations a private sector employer may not ask you if you have been convicted of any misdemeanor that has been expunged. So after your case is expunged answer “NO,” if asked whether you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.

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Can My Felony Conviction Be Expunged or Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

Yes. Felony convictions, where you were sentenced to probation and not sent to prison, can be expunged and some felonies are eligible for reduction to misdemeanors under Penal Code section 17(b). If a felony is reduced to a misdemeanor it becomes a misdemeanor for all purposes which restores most of the rights lost by a felony conviction, and in many cases the right to own a gun.

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How Long Does the Expungement Process Take?

Attorney John Stanko can start working on your expungement immediately. And most case take six to eight weeks to complete.

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Contact Us

Phone 415-755-8899

Attorney John Stanko handles expungements in Marin, San Franciso, Sonoma, Alameda, Solano, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Contra Costa Counties and throughout the greater Bay Area and California.

Client Reviews

This letter is written with gratitude, appreciation, admiration, and respect. Going back to October 2004, our family was in a turmoil. With my husband in custody during the early morning hours, and unsure of where I was to turn, you were there for us. You stood beside me, helped us through a most...

Dr. Henri and Evelyn LePre’

Dear John Stanko, I'm sorry this is so late! But I want you to know how much I appreciate your understanding and your expertise in court! You are a great lawyer and I thank-you so much for helping us in a time of need. I wish you much success in all that you set out to do. Sincerely.

Rose B.

Hi John, here is my testimonial. I could have written a book for all you’ve done for me. Hopefully I didn’t leave anything out! I hope you and your family have a happy and safe holidays! When I first called John Stanko for his services, he was professional and courteous. Although I was a first time...

Mark Aguirre

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