PROFESSIONAL LICENSING AND EXPUNGEMENT

A clean, professional record is the hallmark of a strong professional licensee. This includes one’s criminal past. If you have a past criminal conviction in the State of California, it may be eligible for expungement. 

Expungement is the process by which convictions are dismissed. The dismissal of a conviction has many benefits, which include being able to have background check companies update your online background check information, no longer having to disclose a conviction in response to an employment or background questionnaire, and minimizing the manner in which a conviction can be used against your professional license.

California Penal Code 1203.4 allows individuals with convictions for infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies to have their cases opened, to withdraw a plea of guilty, and to have the case dismissed. The term dismissal is synonymous with expungement. Once the case is expunged, the conviction is no longer on an individual’s record and they can legally state that they have never been convicted of a crime in all instances but three narrow exceptions, which include applications for professional licensure, to be a peace officer, or in an application to be in public office.

The most important of these for clients of S J Harris Law applies to expungement that still must be disclosed to California Licensing Agencies. Whether a nurse, doctor, contractor, accountant, teacher, real estate broker, insurance agent, or any other professional licensee, an expunged conviction still must be disclosed on:

  •  Applications for Licensure
  •  Renewal Application for Licensure
  •  In response to mandating reporting for some licensees of convictions

SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS OF EXPUNGEMENT FOR A CALIFORNIA LICENSED PROFESSIONAL

However, there are still significant benefits to expungement. Expungement acts as a factor in mitigation and rehabilitation as licensing agencies seek to determine one’s eligibility for licensure. Moreover, as of July 2020, California law will prohibit an agency from denying an application solely related to an expunged conviction. See information about California Law – AB 2138.

Even if you had a probation violation, we can work toward an expungement for you. 

MISDEMEANORS AND FELONIES

You may qualify for a Petition for Relief under 1203.4 PC or 1203.4a PC if you meet the following requirements:

Petition for Relief pursuant to 1203.4 PC

  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony
  • Probation was granted, and you have fully complied with the conditions of your probation for the entire term of your probation
  • You are not on probation or serving a sentence for any other offense
  • You have no pending criminal charges against you
  • Court restitution and fines have been paid

Petition for Relief pursuant to 1203.4(a) PC

  • You have been convicted of a misdemeanor
  • One year has elapsed since sentencing and probation was NOT granted
  • You have fully complied with the court’s orders
  • You are not on probation or serving a sentence for any other offense
  • You have no pending criminal charges against you
  • Court restitution and fines have been paid

REDUCTION OF FELONIES

Under Penal Code 17(b) some felonies are eligible to be reduced to misdemeanors. We can work not only to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor but simultaneously expunge it. 

INFRACTIONS

If you were convicted of an infraction, the case may still be dismissed, and expungements of infractions come with the added benefit that the conviction is no longer expungement in ALL circumstances.

OTHER LIMITATIONS

There may be other limitations that apply to your specific case. Certain offenses and violations are not eligible for expungement in any case.

Thus, if you have a conviction, and you wish to clear your record, and to protect your ability to be a professional licensee, you should consult a license defense attorney with S J Harris Law.

We work on a reasonable flat fee basis for expungement cases. Most cases can be accomplished with never having to attend court. If we must appear in court for you, we will do so in an effort to fight for your expungement. 

It is important to remember that once an expungement or relief in the criminal court is granted, including Certificates of Rehabilitation, background check companies may still report your conviction. This will require that you take affirmative steps outside of the expungement and rehabilitation process handled by S J Harris Law.

Expungement may be important to your future. Contact S J Harris Law to learn about how expungement can help you and endeavors for getting and maintaining a professional license.

EARLY TERMINATION OF CRIMINAL PROBATION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSING

No matter the type of professional license you have, being on criminal probation can limit your professional opportunities.

By terminating criminal probation early, it makes you eligible for expungement under Penal Code 1203.4. 

Terminating criminal probation also serves as a factor in mitigation and rehabilitation if you are seeking to obtain or maintain a professional license. Since many convictions provide the grounds for a licensing agency to deny or revoke a professional license, being off of criminal probation can go a long way to helping preserve your licensing rights. Other advantages of being off probation include employment, background checks, travel, and not having to be under the control of the courts or a probation monitor/officer.

California Penal Code section 1203.3 allows a court to terminate probation at any time. This is a difficult process but should be evaluated thoroughly. 

We recommend that you consult an attorney to determine your eligibility for early termination of probation. At a minimum, we suggest that you have completed no less than one half of your criminal probation.

Once an expungement or relief in the criminal court is granted, including Certificates of Rehabilitation, it is important to remember that background check companies may still report your conviction. If this occurs, you will need to take additional steps outside of the expungement and rehabilitation process handled by S J Harris Law.

We handle all expungements and requests for early termination of probation on a flat fee basis. Please contact S J Harris Law to discuss how improving your background record and clearing your name of convictions, can help you professionally.

 MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS AND LICENSING

Convictions involving marijuana may now be eligible for expungement and sealing. 

California Proposition 64 – The Adult Use of Marijuana Act – legalized marijuana in California. The law permits those with past marijuana conviction that occurred prior to the Act’s passage to ask a court to seal and expunge their past convictions, possibly reducing the conviction to a lower offense. 

Since having a drug crime on your record can affect your employment, eligibility for professional licensing, and is on your general background, having a marijuana conviction sealed has many benefits.

If you were convicted of Marijuana Possession under Penal Code section 11357, Marijuana Cultivation under Penal Code section 11358, Possession of Marijuana for Sale under Penal Code section 11359, or Transportation of Marijuana for Sale under Penal Code section 11360 you can possibly expunge and reduce the conviction.

If you are able to have a marijuana conviction expunged and sealed, this will mean that you have never been convicted. This is a benefit not available under typical expungement pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4.

MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS AND HEALTH CARE LICENSEES

If you are a doctor, nurse, psychologist, therapist, dentist, chiropractor, or other health care practitioner, having a drug conviction on your record could cause problems with your licensure. Drug and alcohol convictions can be used against you when you seek to obtain, or maintain a license. If a case is dismissed and sealed, it means it can no longer be used against you. Thus, seeking a consultation from a licensing and expungement attorney at S J Harris Law may benefit your professional future.

We handle all expungement matters pursuant to a flat fee. 

It is important to remember that once an expungement or relief in the criminal court is granted, including Certificates of Rehabilitation, background check companies may still report your conviction. This will require that you take affirmative steps outside of the expungement and rehabilitation process handled by S J Harris Law.