Why You Should Expunge Your Criminal Record Before Getting Your Professional License

WHAT IS AN EXPUNGEMENT?

An expungement is a legal process to remove a conviction from someone’s criminal record. In many states, people are allowed to expunge one or more prior convictions if they meet certain specifications. Usually, only certain crimes can be expunged after a certain time period has passed, allowing eligibility. 

In California, expungement law is outlined by California Penal Code section 1203.4. If you have served state prison time or were convicted for a sexual assault, then you are likely unable to get an expungement approved. To get an expungement, you will have to file the appropriate application pursuant to section 1203.4 to have your case heard in front of a judge. If you are successful, then the record of conviction will be removed from your criminal record.   Recent amendments to the laws may provide easier steps to expunge a conviction successfully.  In addition, for convictions obtained after January 1, 2021, AB 1076 will allow for automatic expungement.  For convictions obtained prior to January 1, 2021, standard expungement proceedings must be conducted.  

If you have questions about the expungement process and how an expungement may be helpful to you, then it is important to speak to an experienced professional licensing and expungement attorney who can help answer your questions. 

HOW AN EXPUNGEMENT CAN HELP YOU GET YOUR PROFESSIONAL LICENSE

Many professional licensing boards will inquire if any prior convictions are substantially related to the type of work you plan to do.  They will also determine if the conviction has been expunged.  Depending on the case, the expunged conviction may still provide a basis for agency action.  In application proceedings, the Board may no longer rely on an expunged conviction to provide the sole basis for the denial.   In the case of an Accusation, one of the standard criteria used by licensing agencies to determine rehabilitation is whether the conviction has been expunged. 

Put simply; it is much better to expunge any criminal convictions from your record than to leave them there for a state licensing board to see and pass negative judgment on you.

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This blog is meant to be informational. It is not meant to be all-encompassing legal advice. If you are facing a situation involving your professional license, seek counsel from a licensed attorney.