Everyone makes mistakes. For some, those mistakes translate into contact
with law enforcement, arrests, criminal charges, and, unfortunately, criminal
records. Aside from having to the pay the price of a conviction, including
fines and fees, community service, probation, and even possible terms
of imprisonment, being convicted of a crime can create a number of collateral
consequences that impact one’s future and potentially place limitations
on their personal and professional success.
At The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, Orange County Criminal Defense
Attorney Jacqueline Goodman and our legal team have worked with many clients
throughout the years who had made unfortunate mistakes and were forced
to face our criminal justice system. While all defendants have concerns
about immediate penalties, they are also concerned about the long-term
effects of a conviction. Fortunately, there may be options for convicted
individuals to address the impact a conviction can have on their future.
expungement is the legal process of sealing a criminal record. Whether you are eligible
to expunge a conviction and how that expungement will work depends on
a number of individual facts unique to your case and your situation, including
the nature of your charge, the time that has passed since conviction,
and your criminal history, among others. When available and done effectively,
expungements can certainly provide several benefits, including:
Sealing your record – When you seek an expungement, your plea will be changed to not
guilty and records will indicate that your case has been dismissed. For
most background checks, your criminal record will not be shown. However,
there may be certain checks where an arrest or charge may be seen.
Employment – When a conviction has been expunged, you can legally answer “no”
when an employer asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime. This
can reduce limitations that set you apart from other candidates who do
not have a criminal record. Additionally, an expungement can help you
pursue or retain certain types of jobs in professions that typically preclude
convicted individuals from holding professional licenses or certifications
needed for employment.
Finances – Convictions can have an adverse effect on a number of financial
endeavors, including credit ratings, housing and loan applications, and
even student loan eligibility in certain cases. Without a conviction on
your record, you won’t be limited by a questions of your past when
seeking loans and housing.
Closure – Expunging a criminal conviction can provide the sense of closure
many people need to move forward with their lives. Aside from the tangible
benefits that clear the way for employment and financial endeavors, you
can benefit from the psychological closure of a mistake in your past,
and pursue a future uninhibited by fear or shame.
California laws do recognize the ability of convicted individuals to “rehabilitate”
themselves and learn from their mistakes, which is why post-conviction
remedies such as expungement are available. By allowing certain misdemeanor
and felony charges to be expunged, typically after completion of probation,
California enables individuals to shirk the shroud of a conviction, pursue
more opportunities in life, and navigate their future as productive and
contributing members of society.
It is important to remember that expungements do have limitations, and
that they are not always the end-all solution in all matters. For example,
some charges can still constitute a prior offense and be used to enhance
penalties should you be charged with a new crime, even after an expungement.
Certain professions, such as public employment, may also still require
you to disclose a conviction that was expunged. Driver suspensions, registration
on offender lists, and revocation of certain civil rights may also go
unaffected after an expungement, depending on the facts involved. Our
attorney can help you better understand how an expungement will work give
your unique situation.
The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman is passionate about protecting the
rights and futures of our clients, not only when they are under investigation
or facing charges, but also when they need to navigate the criminal justice
system to obtain expungements that can help them improve their personal,
professional, and financial opportunities, and have renewed hope for the
future. Attorney Goodman has over 20 years representing clients who have
faced all types of criminal charges, and who sought expungements as a
means to improve their future. Her passion for making a difference in
clients’ lives can help you take the necessary steps to improving yours.
To discuss expungement or a criminal charge with Attorney Goodman during
a FREE consultation,
contact us today.