Expungements and Sealing Records

Expungements and Sealing Records

Clean Your Criminal Record

If you have been charged with a crime, even if you were not convicted, you have a record. Arrest records are recorded. Dismissed cases are recorded. Charges that resulted in probation are recorded. All of this can be seen by potential employers and other parties that may have a need to review your record. It can impact your ability to get a job and more.


Penal Code Section 1203.4 offers some relief for people convicted of a crime. Most people refer to this relief as expungement. However, expungement is really a misnomer. Penal Code Section 1203.4 allows a person convicted of a crime to have their case dismissed. Although, you cannot have your record sealed or cleared pursuant to this section, getting your charges dismissed may prevent you from having to disclose your prior conviction to a prospective employer.

I am a certified criminal law specialist. Working out of my office in Lakeport, I serve people in that community, as well as Clearlake and the surrounding parts of Lake and Mendocino counties. I can assist with the expungement process. If successful, potential employers and other parties will not be able to obtain information about your prior conviction.

Sealing Your Record

Expungements and Sealing Records

Under Penal Code Section 851.8, an innocent person arrested for or charged with a crime may be able to have his records sealed by proving to the court that he or she is factually innocent. This means no reasonable cause existed to believe he or she committed the offense. If relief is granted under this section, all records relating to the arrest and charges must be sealed for 3 years and subsequently destroyed. The arrest will be deemed to never have occurred.

Certificate of Rehabilitation

Expungement isn’t available to everyone. However, other options may be available. As your lawyer, I can assist you in applying for a certificate of rehabilitation. This is technically a type of pardon, rather than record sealing. However, it has similar benefits as expungement. Additionally, a certificate of rehabilitation may relieve a person of their duty to register as a sex offender.