The statistics are staggering. Approximately one of every three adults
has an arrest record. Although not every arrest leads to a prosecution
or a conviction, the fact remains that there are a number of people employed
or seeking employment (or concerned about an employer finding out about
a criminal case) that desperately want their "spotted" history
eliminated. In California, there are a number of rules pertaining to terminating
probation, reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, and petitioning the Superior
Court for an order granting relief from a conviction.
In our computer age, public records of convictions are on many databases
and employers routinely procure these records (often with the assistance
of investigators) to determine the background of prospective employees.
Sadly, many of these records are incomplete, misleading, and fail to account
for the disparity between what a person is arrested for and ultimately
For the defendant, the first step to "clean up the record" is
to satisfy the terms of probation and complete same or, in some cases,
request the Court to terminate probation early for "good conduct."
Once probation is completed successfully, the Court will be more receptive
to a grant of leniency.
For some defendants convicted of certain felony offenses, they can request
the Court to reduce their felony "wobbler" offense to a misdemeanor
pursuant to California Penal Code section 17. Thereafter, once the offense
is classified as a misdemeanor, a request for dismissal can be filed pursuant
to California Penal Code 1203.4. For those convicted of misdemeanor offenses
and having fulfilled the terms of probation, or discharged on an early
basis, the request for dismissal can be filed and is left to the discretion
of a Superior Court judge as to whether it should be granted.
If the dismissal petition is granted in the interests of justice, the plea,
verdict, or finding of guilt is set aside and vacated and a plea of not
guilty is entered and the complaint against the defendant is dismissed.
The defendant is thereby released from all penalties and disabilities
resulting from the offense.
For any criminal matter,
Law Offices of Karlstrom & Krebs.