Q: How do I get my record expunged?
A: What is the conviction for on your record? Is it a misdemeanor or felony?
A: If you were convicted of an infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony and were NOT sentenced to state prison or put under the authority of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, you can petition for a dismissal (people often use the term “expungement” when talking about a “dismissal”) . You are eligible to request a dismissal if you were given county jail time (including jail time for a felony offense), probation, a fine, or a combination of those three types of punishment rather than being sentenced to state prison. If you make a formal request to the court (petition) for a dismissal, the court will make a decision on your request and may withdraw your guilty or no contest (nolo contendere) plea (or the guilty verdict if you went to trial), and enter a not guilty plea. Then the court will set aside and dismiss the conviction. From that point forward, you are no longer considered to be “convicted” of the offense. Your record will be changed to show a dismissal rather than a conviction. The procedure can be complicated so I recommend contacting the Public Defender in the county in which you were convicted or hiring a private defense attorney
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