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What Expungement Can and Cannot Do

There are many benefits of expungement. In the state of California, expungement is the process of sealing/clearing certain offenses from your criminal record. The law does not allow you to clear all types of offenses from your record, and only certain individuals qualify, but for qualifying criminal offenders, expungement can be extremely beneficial.

Some of the benefits include being able to declare that you were never convicted of the expunged offense and some people are able to reduce felonies to misdemeanors through the process of expungement (sometimes called "expunction").

There are certain misconceptions about expungement. Aside from the benefits, there are many things that this process actually cannot do that many people think it can do.

  1. Although California employers are not legally allowed to discriminate against employees and potential employees because of prior convictions, having an offense expunged is not a guarantee that you will have an easier time gaining employment.
  2. You may be able to successfully get a drunk driving conviction expunged, but because there are administrative penalties associated with a DUI that are handled through the DMV, an expungement cannot give you back your right to drive.
  3. Certain felony offenses carry with them the penalty of removing a person's right to own a firearm. Expungement can remove these types of offenses from your record, but cannot give you back your right to own a firearm.
  4. Certain sex offenses may be able to be expunged. However, just like DUI and certain felony penalties, expungement cannot remove certain sex offense penalties like having to register as a sex offender.
  5. One of the most common misconceptions about expungement is that it will completely remove an offense off of your criminal record. While expungement does "seal" your record, a background check will still show that you were convicted but that conviction was removed by process of expungement.

Interested in sealing your criminal record? Talk to an Orange County criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Our firm has successfully obtained expungements for many people. We may be able to help you with this as well. Call today for a free case evaluation.

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