Can I Still Get My Criminal Record Expunged Even If I Violated Probation in California?

Jerod Gunsberg, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Can I Still Get My Criminal Record Expunged Even If I Violated Probation in California?

court roomUnder California law, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony and sentenced to probation you may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged. For the basic overview on how this works and what it means, you can read about it on my expungement page.

This article talks about whether or not someone can get their record expunged if they either violated probation or were sent to state prison.

If You Violated Probation, You may Still Be Eligible for Expungement

Under California’s Penal Code 1203.4, if you were placed on probation and completed probation successfully, and are not currently on probation for any other offense, you are eligible for a dismissal of your case.  If you plead to a wobbler, the court has the discretion to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor before dismissal.

However, if you violated probation,you are not automatically entitled to an expungement.  However,  the judge may still grant your petition for dismissal (the official name expungement) if it is “in the interests of justice.”

And now you’re wondering, what exactly does “in the interest of justice” mean?

Basically, it means do you have a compelling story?  OK, so you didn’t do well on probation.  Perhaps you were convicted of other crimes while on probation, perhaps you failed to complete your community labor or community service so the judge put you in county jail.  But that was then.  What have you been doing with your life since then? Have you gone back to school? Do you have career opportunities now? How long have you been crime-free?

In these situations, I put together a comprehensive package for the court which shows exactly what my client has been up to in the years since the offense in question.  I always want letters of recommendation from employers, schools, family members, and others in the community which show that my client is now a leading a productive and crime-free life.  I work with the client to draft a personal statement to show the judge.  Often the judge will want to talk to the client directly to find out, in the client’s own words, how their life has changed. I prepare my clients for this.  Sometimes it can be a very involved and intense process, but it can be done.

The bottom line is this:  Don’t give up hope of getting your record expunged.  You can call The Law Offices of Jerod Gunsberg at (310) 210-0744 for an honest, confidential and free consultation.  We will give you an honest assessment about your chances for an expungement.  Call us or contact us via the confidential email contact form.

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