james polk owner small claims la

“Expungement” of a misdemeanor is relatively straightforward in the State of California. 

The word expungement comes from the french word which means to erase.  The main California procedure is called a “Dismissal”.  There are many different expungement techniques to erase different record items from different agencies.  This is mainly about the CA Misdemeanor “Expungement”, i.e. the above mentioned “Dismissal”.  Each of the 58 Counties has a different procedure, but there are some commonalities.  If you are no longer on probation you can petition for the court to “dismiss” your misdemeanor.  The case is reopened and re-adjudicated as “dismissed”.  This means that when an employer asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you are lawfully able to say no.  This presupposes that you do not have any other convictions.  CR-180 is the basic California Judicial Council Form, but some counties have a local form.

Felonies are a little bit of a different process.

Below is a list of good resources.  I will help you fill out the forms if you ask:

If you go to “Google” you can google the County Name and add one of the following terms:

  • Public Defender Expungement
  • District Attorney Expungement
  • Prosecutor Expungement
  • Probation Expungement
  • Parole Expungement
  • Law Library Expungement
  • Clinic Expungement
  • Self-Help Expungement
  • Court Self-Help Expungement
  • Juvenile Sealing Clerk

That about covers all the search terms.  Every County is different, but the substantive law is the same.

Note:  I found one County that mispelled Expungement and spelled it Expungment.  Go figure.  I called the County Courthouse to have them change it and they couldn’t figure why I felt the need to call.  The reason is because you have the right to be able to find this information.  I am not going to name the County.  Just be aware that if you are searching for information on Expungement you might need to type Expungment.

Hope this helps with your need for Expungement information.

A LegalShield Membership entitles you to unlimited legal advice phone calls with your Partner Law Firm and they can help guide you too.  Go to www.JamesPolk.us to hear more about a LegalShield Membership which only costs $20 a month for a Family Membership.

Let me know if you have decided on which forms to file and where to file them and I can help you complete them and file them.


James F. Polk

P.S. Some Counties work with another County and do not have their own services.

Once all your convictions have been dismissed, this is what you can expect:

  1. Applying for private employment: Under most circumstances, private employers cannot ask you about any convictions dismissed under Penal Code section 1203.4. So when applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was dismissed or expunged. But it is a good idea to read Penal Code section 1203.4, or California Code of Regulations section 11017.1 (operative July 1, 2017), or to talk to the public defender in your county if you have questions about your rights and obligations regarding past convictions when applying for a job.
  1. Applying for government employment or a government license: For questions by government employers or on government licensing applications, if you are asked if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you MUST respond with “YES—CONVICTION DISMISSED.” In California, government employers and licensing agencies (except for police agencies and concessionaire licensing boards) will treat you the same as if you had never been convicted of any crime.
  1. You will not be allowed to own or possess a firearm until you would otherwise be able to do so.
  1. Your dismissed convictions can still be used to increase your punishment in future criminal cases.
  1. Your prior convictions can still affect your driving privileges.
  1. If you have been required to register as a sex offender as a result of a conviction, you have to make a different motion to the court in order to be relieved of this requirement. A dismissal will not relieve you of your duty to register as a sex offender. Your status as a registered sex offender will continue to be available to the public on the Internet under Megan’s Law.
  1. If your conviction prohibited you from holding public office, you still cannot hold public office after that conviction is dismissed.