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New 2011 Update - Dismissal ("Expungement") of Infractions 1203.4(a)

A defendant convicted of a non-motor vehicle infraction, who has complied in full with and completed the sentence of the court, is not in custody on another charge, and has lived an "upright life" since the judgment, can seek dismissal of charges ("expungement") by filing a petition for dismissal of an infraction. Such petition must be filed by written declaration and the petitioning defendant must follow statutory guidelines including giving the prosecution appropriate notice. Some additional fees may also apply.

Having a criminal record can seriously interfere with your life. The formal expungement of one's record (petition pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4) may, in many cases, allow one to proceed as if the arrest or conviction never happened.

During his more than 30 years of practicing criminal defense law, Seth P. Chazin has helped many clients obtain relief through the expungement process. Mr. Chazin is highly skilled and experienced in the expungement process. In fact, Seth P. Chazin has had virtually 100% success in obtaining expungements for his clients!

Some useful facts to know about expungements:

  • Contrary to popular belief, juvenile records are not automatically sealed in California. After reaching the age of 18, one may petition the court to have juvenile records sealed and eventually destroyed. Without a formal petition, however, these records remain accessible.

  • Some sentencing consequences must be handled separately from the expungement process (for example, restrictions imposed upon drivers' licenses and/or sex offender registration requirements). Seth P. Chazin's expertise extends to all of these proceedings which he has handled successfully for numerous clients.

  • A legal expungement is not the "destruction" of the record as its name might suggest. Even after expungement, one is required to report a conviction if applying for license from the State of California. Knowing the specific exceptions to the general rules is just one of the reasons it is essential that you seek representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney with expertise in this area of the law.
  • The only method for a person to have their record totally sealed (including the destruction of the police reports concerning the incident) so that no employment or other background check will reveal an arrest or that someone was charged with a crime is to obtain an order of a Factual Finding of Innocence from a judge under Penal Code section 851.8. Mr. Chazin has achieved great success in obtaining Factual Findings of Innocence for his clients, and has even been able to obtain stipulations from prosecutors to the granting of a Petition for a Factual Finding of Innocence Under Penal Code section 851.8.

Read more about Federal Expungements and Pardons.

DID YOU KNOW? Not all convictions are eligible for expungement. The availability of expungement depends upon the type of charges, the jurisdiction, the sentence imposed (if any) and a variety of other factors. CALL NOW for a fast and reliable way to find out if your criminal record qualifies for expungement?

Call 800.499.9902 for a free consultation.


Recent Victories

A client with multiple priors, including convictions for sex offenses, obtained several expungements and subsequently was granted a Certificate of Rehabilitation for the sex crime charges, thereby legally relieving him from having to register as a sex offender.

Record Sealing-Expungement- despite the fact that the law said the client was not eligible to have his record sealed, we convinced the court to seal the client's record anyway. The client had previously been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.


“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson