December 28, 2023 By WK Law

Clearing Your Criminal Record

If you have a criminal record in California, you may be wondering if it’s possible to clear it. The answer is yes, it is possible to clear your criminal record in California, and there are several reasons why you might want to do so.

First and foremost, having a criminal record can severely impact your future opportunities. It can make it difficult for you to find employment, housing, or even obtain loans. This is because many employers and landlords conduct background checks, and having a criminal record can make you seem like a risky candidate.

Moreover, having a criminal record can also affect your personal relationships. It may cause strain in your family or friendships, as they may view you differently after learning about your past convictions.

Aside from the practical implications, clearing your criminal record can also provide a sense of closure and allow you to move forward with your life. It can be emotionally draining to constantly carry the weight of your past mistakes, and clearing your record can help you feel like you have a fresh start.

If you are looking to clear your criminal record, you need an aggressive attorney on your side. Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free consultation!


“Expungement” refers to the process of erasing a criminal charge from your record, effectively clearing your name and relieving you from all associated penalties and restrictions. By doing so, you can confidently state that you haven’t been convicted of any charges on most job applications in the private sector. Additionally, expunging your record allows you to replace a guilty plea with a not guilty plea, ensuring that background checks or livescans will indicate that the charges have been dismissed.

The primary advantage of expunging your criminal record lies in the numerous opportunities it opens up for you. While your arrest may still appear on a criminal background check conducted by potential landlords, creditors, employers, or educational institutions, it will also highlight the dismissal of your conviction in the pursuit of justice. This significantly improves your chances of achieving your goals with a positive outcome.

Are You Eligible for Expungement?

Although each case is unique and there can be exceptions, the majority of individuals who have received sentences such as county jail imprisonment, probation, fines, or a combination of these penalties may be eligible to pursue an expungement for both misdemeanor and felony convictions. In California, according to PC 1203.4, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Successful completion of probation
  • No additional criminal offenses committed
  • Compliance with all court and jail directives
  • Attendance at probation officer appointments as scheduled
  • Fulfillment of restitution and fine obligations
  • Successful completion of community service
  • Submission to police searches and seizures with or without a warrant
  • Completion of mandatory drug or alcohol programs

There are certain instances where you may not be eligible for expungement. In most cases, if you have served time in state prison, you are typically not eligible to have your criminal record expunged. However, there are exceptions to this rule, so please refer below to determine your potential eligibility. Additionally, there are certain very serious crimes that are considered ineligible for expungement. These crimes include:

  • Sodomy with a minor (PC 286(c))
  • Lewd and lascivious acts with a minor (PC 288)
  • Oral copulation with a minor (PC 288a(c))
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child (PC 288.5)
  • Forcible sexual penetration with a minor under 14 years old (PC 289(j))
  • Unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 16 years old committed by a person over 21 years old (PC 261.5(d))
  • Felony Possession of Child Pornography (PC 311)
  • Failure to stop and submit to inspection of equipment or for an unsafe condition endangering a person (Vehicle Code section 42002.1)
  • Any infractions or special misdemeanors under Vehicle Code section 42001

If you are unsure whether you are eligible for expungement, call our office today for a free consultation!


It is crucial to grasp that an appeal does not constitute a fresh trial. Therefore, introducing new evidence or presenting new testimonies from witnesses is generally not permitted. Instead, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court (for misdemeanors) or the California Court of Appeal (for felonies) will review the proceedings of your original trial to determine if any procedural errors occurred that infringed upon your rights. Additionally, the court will assess the verdict’s consistency with the evidence utilized by the judge or jury to reach their decision.

If the appeals court concludes that legal errors significantly influenced the outcome of your trial, it will overturn the conviction and schedule a new trial. However, if the court deems the errors as inconsequential or determines that no errors were made, the conviction will remain intact.

Given that an appeals case differs from a standard trial, it is essential to choose an attorney who possesses a thorough understanding of the appellate system and can effectively navigate your case through it. Handling an appeal requires a distinct skill set, something that not all trial attorneys possess. Therefore, prior to hiring an attorney, ensure that they have relevant experience in this area.

Governor’s Pardons

The Governor’s Pardon process is an option for individuals who do not qualify for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. This process is primarily utilized by individuals who have been convicted of felonies in California and currently reside outside of the state. Additionally, the traditional pardon procedure is available to those who are ineligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation due to convictions related to sex offenses under Penal Code sections 286(c), 288, 288.5, or 289(j), as well as individuals convicted of misdemeanor offenses. The traditional pardon procedure is governed by Penal Code sections 4800-4813.

It’s important to understand what a Governor’s Pardon does NOT do. A Governor’s Pardon does not: 

  • Request to seal or expunge the criminal record (as per Penal Code section 4852.17)
  • Prohibit considering the pardoned offense as a prior conviction if the person is subsequently convicted of a new offense.
  • Enable the pardoned individual to indicate on job applications that they have no record of conviction.
  • Restore firearm ownership rights for felons convicted of offenses involving the use of a dangerous weapon (as per Penal Code section 4854).
  • Grant pardons for convictions from other states or federal convictions.
  • Note that a pardon does not guarantee protection against deportation.

If you are unsure of whether you qualify for a Governor’s Pardon, call our office today for a free consultation! Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the experience you need. We offer exceptional service, experience, and affordable payment options to help you manage the cost of hiring a defense attorney. Call our office today for a free consultation!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you are wanting to clear your criminal record, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

Confidential Consult
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

SCHEDULE YOUR free consultation

If you or a loved one have been accused of a sex crime, this is the time to contact us.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.