San Jose Expungement Attorney
Navigating life with a criminal record in San Jose, California, can be challenging. Having a record often opens the door to scrutiny even though you’ve served the sentence and are trying to move on. Fortunately, there is a way to alleviate this. Expungements offer a second chance by erasing your past convictions allowing you to live more freely again.
If you need help with an expungement in San Jose, CA, we’re here for you. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation with a San Jose expungement attorney at (408) 217-8818.
How Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Can Help With an Expungement in San Jose
Expungement offers a path toward clearing your criminal record, thus offering you a chance to start anew. Engaging an attorney to help with the process is crucial. Here’s our San Jose criminal defense attorneys can help you:
- Ensuring Eligibility: When it comes to expungements in California, a lawyer can first help you figure out whether your case is eligible. Some cases may not be suitable for expungement under the law.
- Filling Out the Right Paperwork: While seeking an expungement, there is often an application you are required to fill out. It’s important that everything is completed accurately and in a timely manner. One small mistake could lead to delays or even a denial of your request. Hiring our expungement attorneys ensures all documents are completed meticulously.
- Handle Court Filings: Our experienced lawyers know where and when to file paperwork for an efficient and timely process. We will handle submissions at the courthouse which originally dealt with your case.
- Expertise at Hearings: Sometimes, as part of expunging past convictions, court hearings become necessary. We will handle your case at all hearings, which involves speaking with prosecutors and judges, as well as presenting the facts of your case in the best light possible.
If you need help with an expungement in San Jose, let us help. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, today to get started with a free case review.
Overview of Expungements in California
Expungement is a legal process that allows you to have your criminal records sealed or erased in the eyes of the law. It’s an invaluable tool, particularly for mitigating the future complications often associated with having a criminal conviction – difficulties such as acquiring decent employment opportunities, securing housing, or even applying for loans can be eased significantly.
What Are The Criteria for Expungement?
- You must have successfully completed probation for the offense at hand, if applicable. Probation normally involves certain conditions, such as maintaining employment, clean drug tests, and community service.
- You must not have any pending charges against you or be serving a sentence of any kind.
- You must not have been convicted of a sex offense or crimes involving children.
If any of these criteria are not met, you generally won’t be able to have your record expunged. Always speak with an experienced expungement attorney to be sure, as they can provide information about exceptions to these criteria based on your specific circumstances.
Convictions That Cannot Be Expunged
In California, while expungement provides a lifeline to many who have stumbled in the past and are seeking a fresh start, it’s crucial to understand that not every conviction is subject to this legal relief. Specifically, sex crimes committed against children are not eligible. Common examples include the following:
- Sodomy with a child: If you’ve been found guilty of committing sodomy with anyone under 18 years old, that conviction cannot be expunged according to California law.
- Lewd acts with a child: Often referred to as child molestation, this term generally encompasses any form of physical contact with a minor below 14 years old carried out with sexual intentions. Similarly strict rules apply, and there is no chance for expungement.
- Oral Copulation with A Child: Oral copulation is legally described as any instance where the mouth of an individual comes into contact with the genital (penis or vagina) or anal region of another person. If you’ve been convicted of this act on a child, it is not eligible for expungement.
- Statutory Rape: Where sexual intercourse occurs between an individual younger than 16 and someone 21 or older, it is considered statutory rape. This cannot be expunged under California law.
This is not an exhaustive list; other crimes in California may not be eligible for expungement as well.
Benefits of Expungement
There are some significant benefits to expungement, including the following:
- Ease in Job Hunting: Having a conviction erased from your record can significantly improve your job prospects, as many employers are hesitant to hire candidates with criminal convictions (despite certain legal protections for those with a criminal history). With an expungement, you will not have the obligation to disclose this information in most cases.
- Improved Housing Opportunities: Similar challenges occur when attempting secure housing since landlords usually conduct background checks during tenant evaluations. Successful expungement boosts the probability of receiving approvals for rental applications.
- Reducing Stigma: An expungement can help reduce the stigma associated with a criminal record. It eliminates public access to your conviction information which might have led to societal prejudice or bias against you, thus enabling you to reintegrate more easily into society.
Contact our expungement lawyers in San Jose today to go over your legal rights and options.
What Happens at an Expungement Hearing in San Jose, California?
If you are applying for an expungement, knowing what to expect and understanding the process can help alleviate some uncertainties and better prepare you for what lies ahead. If your expungement isn’t automatic, the following steps must take place:
The Court Sets a Hearing Date
The first step in the process of expunging a criminal record is filing a petition with the appropriate court in San Jose. Once your petition has been submitted, the court will review it and may assign a hearing date.
Your Attorney Will Present Evidence
Your criminal defense attorney will argue on your behalf, showcasing your eligibility for expungement and reasons why the conviction should be expunged. Some of the reasons that may be provided during your hearing include:
- Completion of probation without any violations: This shows that you have complied with the conditions set by the court and have demonstrated a commitment to rehabilitation.
- Maintaining employment: If you currently have a job, this is something your attorney will highlight when discussing your case with the judge. It shows that you’re interested in being a productive member of society, and having an expungement granted will likely provide you with better employment opportunities going forward.
- Accepting punishment: Acknowledging your past mistakes and taking responsibility for your actions can illustrate that you have learned from your experiences and are ready to move forward.
Having an experienced San Jose expungement attorney on your side will be a significant advantage for you.
What Can I Do If My Expungement Is Denied?
Should you find yourself in a situation where your expungement is denied, or it simply isn’t an available option, don’t lose hope – alternate forms of relief may still be available.
If your initial expungement request in California is denied for technical reasons – like you forgot to include information in the application – you can reapply with the correct information, and it should be granted. If your expungement was denied for another reason, like because you violated the conditions of your probation before completing the term, there’s an option to apply again after some time has passed.
However, a successful reapplication usually needs to highlight significant changes from the circumstances which originally led to the denial. For example, you can show that you have a job, have maintained employment for a long period of time, and have remained drug-free.
Appeal the Expungement Decision
You could also appeal the ruling if you believe there was a legal error that led to the denial of our expungement. For example, the judge thought you were not eligible under the law for an expungement, but you and your attorney believe the law states otherwise.
Certificate of Rehabilitation
This is another alternative that can restore several rights lost due to a conviction, like possessing firearms legally again. Obtaining this certificate also opens the door to serving as a jury member.
Another potential route is securing a Governor’s pardon. Although not easy to come by, there are situations where this can occur.
Every case is different, and it’s important to speak with an experienced San Jose expungement lawyer to determine your eligibility and your next steps.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With Our San Jose Expungement Lawyers
Struggling under the weight of a past criminal conviction doesn’t have to be permanent. Expungement in San Jose, California, offers an opportunity for relief. Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, to schedule a free consultation with our qualified San Jose expungement attorneys.
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