Wednesday, February 01, 2006

CLEARING YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD


More and more companies are requiring criminal background checks of their prospective employees. The best time to deal with any possible blemishes on your criminal record is NOW; before any potential job opportunities as put in jeopardy. As the entire process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, the best time to clean up your record is before it comes into question.

Finding ANYONE'S criminal record these days is as easy as signing onto the internet, finding the right site, paying their fees and any stranger has free reign to view your past indiscretions. People subjected to 290 registration maybe hassled by neighbors or discriminated against by their employers for their entire lives, unless the appropriate legal action is taken.

Your criminal history (any conviction of a misdemeanor or felony) is technically a matter of public record for anyone to see for up to seven years after your conviction. After 7 years it is supposed to "fall off" but this is not the same legal effect as an expungement. Many times crimes will stay on your public record "rap sheet' long after they were supposed to have been taken off. These convictions and your entire criminal history remains on your Department of Justice rap sheet for the rest of your life.

California Penal Code Section 1203.4 (expungement motion) allows for people who have satisfactorily completed their probation to apply to the courts to have their guilty (or no contest) pleas withdrawn, their convictions set aside, and their cases dismissed. The effect being that many background checks that search only for convictions will wipe your matter clear from their data banks. Other background check search engines will at least show the complete history of your matter, with the final entry being, guilty plea withdrawn, conviction set aside, CASE DISMISSED.

Most importantly, EXCEPT for applications for state licenses or government positions (in those situations you must state your complete history of the matter) if a motion for expungement is granted, you may fill out employment applications and legally say that you do not have any convictions on your record. The filing of an expungement motion is largely an important "clean up matter" should you have any criminal convictions, you may expunge felonies as well as misdemeanors. If your conviction occurred over 7 years ago and you have not filed an expungement motion legally you must still disclose the conviction, even if you believe it may have fallen off your record.

Certain crimes subject to Section 290 registration can technically be a matter of public record for the rest of your life, unless you file the appropriate documentation with the court and have it granted. Depending on the crime, if either 7 or 10 years have elapsed since you were subject to 290 registration, you may apply to the court to end having to complete this registration.

A competent attorney can help you with these motions and help clear off the lingering effects of your past criminal indiscretions; and save you the embarrassment of having to explain the entire situation to your potential employer.


If you have any questions regarding such actions or any other legal matter feel free to contact my office at (310) 749-4529

4 Comments:

Blogger Lyle said...

Hey, sexy. Great articles. I just wanted to clarify, that even after one manages to have his record expunged, background checks will reveal one's entire record, and the State of California cannot control how that information is reported by other governmental agencies, such as, say, the FBI. The FBI tends to report criminal records downplaying expungements and playing up convictions.

The truth of the matter is that once one pleads guilty or is found guilty of a crime, that record will follow one for the rest of one's life. The government takes great pleasure in making sure that the conviction haunts one. That said, a conviction need not bar one from many professional licenses and should not cause one to be denied employment or security clearances. It's all about the crime and the sentence one receives.

7:54 PM

 
Blogger Carl Simons Attorney at Law said...

ACTUALLY....that's only partially true. Different companies use different agencies to check your background. Granted, now MOST agencies do report the FULL history of the crime from initial charges, through conviction up to including dismissal through expungement IF it is filed. BUT, some agencies only report for CONVICTIONS which, if an expungement is filed, will not show any hits.

As for for your criminal record following you "for the rest of your life" that also will include ARRESTS, which may or may not may be actual arrests or "custodial interrogations" which are not arrests but still usually result in bookings and fingerprinting. IF you were booked and finger printed YOU HAVE A "CRIMINAL RECORD" regardless of CONVICTION.

5:07 PM

 
Blogger Leslie said...

Incredible. Looks like everyone needs to do their own criminal background check and get it cleared before applying for employment.

8:11 PM

 
Anonymous Milagros Kilduff said...

A criminal record can sometimes hold you back, especially if you are seeking for an employment. But there are ways to clear your records and have a clean slate through the process of Record Expungement. Once your record is expunged, you can stop fearing the background checks and apply for any job or professional license with confidence. Check if you meet the criteria. If you do, get all the necessary papers and seek the help of a good expungement lawyer. He will help you with the process and ensure that you going on the right track with the expungement.

5:42 PM

 

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