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Cleaning Your Criminal Record

If you’re facing criminal charges in Orange County, or anywhere else in California, you probably have a lot of questions, especially if this is your first run-in with the law. While it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, you don’t want to stop thinking about how a criminal conviction would affect your future.

A criminal conviction affects many aspects of a person’s life, especially as it pertains to employment. If you are convicted of a crime, you’ll want to know about employment background checks, what a prospective employer can and cannot ask you, and what types of criminal records can be sealed or “cleaned up.”

What Can an Employer Say and Do?

Under California Labor Code Section 432.7, if you apply for a job, a prospective employer cannot ask you about information of an arrest or detention that did not end up in a criminal conviction. Prospective employers cannot ask you if you were referred to or participated in a diversion program. Lastly, employers are not supposed to look for arrest records that did not end in a conviction.

“What if the employer finds out about my arrest record anyway?” In that case, the employer cannot use your arrest as a factor in deciding whether or not to hire you. However, an employer can ask about an arrest for which you are out on bail, or you have been released on your own recognizance and you’re awaiting trial.

Note: Employers cannot ask job applicants about a juvenile court cases. If the employer learns about the juvenile case, they cannot use that information as a factor during the hiring process.

Sealing a Criminal Record

Depending on the facts of your case, you may be eligible to seal your criminal records by filing a petition under Penal Code Section 851.8, 851.85, 851.86, or 851.87. If a judge decides that you meet the eligibility requirements, your records will be sealed and they will not be available to the public.

You may qualify to have your records sealed if:

  • At trial, you were acquitted.
  • You completed a pre-filing diversion program.
  • You completed a drug diversion program.
  • Your conviction was set aside because you were found innocent.
  • You were arrested but you were not formally charged.
  • You were arrested but your case was dismissed.

To learn more about the benefits of cleaning your criminal record in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to schedule a free consultation.

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