http://www.chastainelaw.com (transcribed from Q&A video interview with Michael Chastaine, criminal attorney in Folsom, CA www.chastainelaw.com)
Our next question is for those who have already paid for their crime and want to know how to get their record cleared.
Michael, is that possible and if so, how do they go about it?
In California, in most circumstances, it is. Depending on what you’ve been convicted of and what actually happened. If you were granted probation and completed probation, you can, in most circumstances, you can have the case dismissed and have the record expunged. If you were convicted of a felony after a certain period of time have a certificate of rehabiliation. These things are extremely important in cleaning up your record, for employment purposes and for other purposes as well. Licensing and that sort of thing as well. And if you have been convicted ofa sex offense and you have to register in some circumstances, depending on what you’ve been convicted of, certificate of rehabilitation may relieve that duty to have to register for the rest of your life. And in some circumstances, if you were on the Megan’s law website, we can help you get off. There are ways to do that in certain cases. And the only way to know the answer to any of those questions is to talk to somebody who actually has experience in that field, which we do.
So in other words, what people don’t know about getting their case dismissed could have repercussions for the rest of their life.
Absolutely, our philosophy is that your case isn’t over until it’s dismissed. And we talk to our clients if they are going to suffer a conviction about the light at the end of the tunnel, the ability to have the case dismissed down the road if they’re going to be eligible for that. And we make sure that we contact our clients even if it’s several years down the road to discuss, is it time to have probation terminated? can we do that early? can we have the case dismissed? has enough time passed so we can do a certificate of rehabiliation? Because it’s extremely important, the fact that you suffered a conviction in the past doesn’t mean you have to be saddled with it for the rest of your life.
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