If you have been charged with or convicted of domestic violence, you may be wondering if you are able to get your domestic violence charge expunged from your record. In general, your eligibility for expungement will vary depending on the severity of the crime of which you were convicted and your criminal record. In the state of California, domestic violence crimes may either be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor.
Expungement in the State of California
When you successfully get a conviction expunged, it means that your case is dismissed and any plea you previously entered, such as a guilty plea or a no contest plea, will be removed. Once it has been removed, a new plea of not guilty will be entered instead. One of the main benefits to having your conviction expunged is for employment purposes, as this process may help remove the matter from appearing in certain background checks. In addition, it may help you with housing and educational opportunities, both of which may require background checks.
Domestic Violence Charges – Misdemeanor or Felony?
Domestic violence offenses may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Some charges that are considered domestic violence include assault, battery, aggravated trespass, and child abuse. Domestic violence involves crimes committed against a family member or domestic partner. Typically, whether a domestic violence offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the circumstances of the incident leading to the charges. If there is an assault or battery involved resulting in serious bodily injury or death, for example, the offense could be charged as a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
Can a Felony Conviction be Expunged?
Generally, you can get misdemeanor charges expunged. It is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to get a felony conviction expunged. In most cases, expungement is only available in felony cases in situations where prison time was not part of your sentence. However, there is an exception if you have been able to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon. If you were only sentenced to probation, you may be able to withdraw your plea of no contest or guilty and then enter a plea of not guilty.
Disclosing an Expunged Conviction of Domestic Violence
Under certain circumstances, you must still disclose a conviction of domestic violence, even when you have gotten an expungement of the conviction. One such situation in which disclosure of the conviction is mandatory is if you are running for any public office. Additionally, you must also disclose the conviction if you are seeking a license from a state or local agency. Finally, if you are contracting with the California State Lottery, you must disclose the conviction.
California Expungement Lawyer
If you have a criminal offense on your record that you would like to have expunged, contact expungement California attorney Patrick Griffin at Griffin Law in Sacramento, California. Attorney Patrick Griffin is experienced in the area of expungements and can help you achieve your goal in successfully expunging your case. Contract Griffin Law today for a consultation for your legal needs.