Under What Circumstances Can Charges Be Expunged?

Contrary to popular belief, not all criminal records are permanent. Some charges are eligible for expungement, which means that they no longer appear on a defendant’s record. This can be extremely helpful when looking for a job, applying for financial aid, or renting a home. 

Here are a few of the circumstances where criminal charges may be expunged, and how you can get zealous legal advocacy when you need it from an experienced California criminal defense lawyer.

When a Person’s Case Is Eligible for Dismissal 

Whether or not you will be able to have your criminal record expunged depends largely on how your case was dismissed by the judge presiding over it. If the judge decided to dismiss your case without prejudice, this means it can be reopened and the same charges levied against you. If the judge dismissed your case with prejudice, this typically makes it easier to have your criminal record expunged, because this ruling essentially means that your case has been permanently closed.

When a Defendant Has Not Actually Been Formally Charged 

Expunging arrest records that do not have accompanying criminal charges is fairly easy to do, but some people don’t end up taking advantage of this to keep their background clean on paper. Often, people mistakenly believe that arrest records are only kept if the individual is also charged, but this isn’t true. Arrest records stay on your background until they’ve been sealed. 

When an Appeal Results In the Reversal of Charges   

Contrary to popular belief, being convicted of a criminal offense isn’t necessarily the last step in the legal journey. It’s your right to appeal and doing so is usually in your best interests. During an appeal, another court will look at how your case developed and what transpired to reach the guilty verdict. 

If the trial was held improperly or there wasn’t enough evidence to secure the conviction, the appeals court may issue a demand that the case be dismissed or retried. If successful, this may allow you to expunge those records. 

Get Help With Your Expungement from a Sacramento Criminal Defense Lawyer    

It’s critical that you act quickly to file an appeal if you’ve been convicted of a crime. The sooner you get started, the stronger your appeals case. Call Jennifer Mouzis now for a consultation at (916) 822-8702 to learn more about how to seal or expunge criminal records after being arrested and convicted of a crime.