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Expungement has changed in California 

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Expungement

The expungement process has long been complicated in California. In some ways, you can’t get a true expungement, like you would in other states – or, at least, you have not been able to in the past. For instance, if the conviction came with a prison sentence, expungement has traditionally been prohibited. However, some low-level felonies and misdemeanors that don’t require prison time have been expunged in the past.

That being said, things are changing, as California has now passed Senate Bill 731 in 2023. This allows people to ask the government to clear their records even if they have felony convictions. In some cases, those who have violent crimes on their records can even request an expungement.

Who is eligible?

Not everyone is eligible. To begin with, those who have been convicted of sex offenses are not eligible for expungement. Their records have to stay for life, and many of them have to register on the sex offender’s list.

Outside of sex crimes, though, the applicant needs to have already finished the prison sentence that they were given. If they had to serve additional probation, that needs to have been completed as well. Finally, two years must have passed since the conclusion of their sentence, and they need to have avoided arrest for the entire time.

If they meet all of these qualifications, they can request that their record be expunged – but this does not guarantee expungement will happen.

The legal process

If you’re interested in expungement, you are probably trying to limit the way that a conviction impacts your ability to find housing, get a job, go to school and things of this nature. It’s very important for your future that you understand what steps to take throughout the legal process.