How Expungement Works
Expungement – The Last Step In Criminal Conviction Process
Once you served the sentence and completed all terms of probation, it is time to move on with your life. Being convicted had an impact on your life. Even more so, your family suffered more than you did, not knowing how is everything going with you “inside” the California State prison system. Visits were never enough for them not to worry about your well being. Now, it is over. It is time to go back to your normal life and fix what is still fixable. Criminal convictions can have a great impact on our lives. Besides hurting our family, friends and ourselves emotionally, after we go through all the legality, we might face some other consequences. Our family members may have put themselves out on a limb by using their financial resources to pay for the Santa Ana Bail Bonds agent. Your criminal record will be the first thing that your employer or your landlord will check before you get that new apartment or job. One of the things well known to the majority of prisoners would be “Serenity Prayer”. We asked the God to help us to accept the things that we cannot change and to give us the courage to change the things that we can. At the end, we do need wisdom to know the difference. Let’s stay for a moment on “the difference” part. After all you’ve been through: the arrest, the Santa Ana bail bonds process, the arraignment, and the trial, it’s time to focus on getting back on track.
What the expungement means
As the name says itself, expungement means removal of conviction from your criminal record. It should be understood as a simple process where appearance in front of the Court most of the time would not even be needed. Filing the required form and providing the relevant evidence might be the only thing needed to remove the conviction from your record. Is the record completely “clean” after the expungement? Well..the answer is “no”. Expungement means entering the order of not guilty in your criminal record under the certain penal code. So, there will be still some type of traces related to your case, but for the employment purposes – you will be totally “clean”. Related to that, there will be no need to discuss with any future employer your use of an Orange County Bail Bonds agency.
What can be expunged?
Each State has different laws, but there are some things that can be considered as universal or close to universal when it comes to criminal case procedure, and the expungement is just one of them. In majority of the States, including California, almost all misdemeanor cases can be expunged with no problem. One the other hand, some felonies can be expunged, but most of them not. Even if you were convicted of a felony, there might be some type of post conviction relief available, such as trying to lower the charge to a misdemeanor regardless if you already served the sentence. This might be one of the tools that could work sometimes, but not always. Each case is different!
Expungement and Immigration Matters
Immigration law is a very complex thing and a conviction of any kind might have an effect on all “aliens”, especially illegal ones or the ones with temporary visa status. So, until you get U.S. citizenship, any type of conviction might present the risk for your future in this country. Many of us see serving the sentence as a lesser punishment then being deported back to the country that we left 20 years ago. If this applies to you and you have a criminal case pending in front of the Orange County Court, it is highly advisable to hire an Attorney who has experience in Immigration matters as well. An average criminal attorney might think that he got you a good deal, just because you got released two days later after being arrested, by taking a plea bargain and accepting some felony charges on your record. Even getting a federal bond involves contacting a Santa Ana bail bonds agent. While this might be a good “deal” for someone who is a U.S. citizen, runs the private business and has a family, for you this kind of move might be a major disaster. Felony conviction will definitely make you deportable and inadmissible. If you are a “green card” holder, the safest thing to do is to take a plea bargain and accept the charge of a misdemeanor with the sentence of 364 days or less, especially if you know that the District Attorney has enough of the evidence to charge with a Felony charge and that you are going to lose the trial if you ever get to that point.
Are all misdemeanors safe if I am a “green card” holder?
If this is your first time conviction and you have a permanent resident status already in place, one misdemeanor will not have an impact on your immigration status. What you really need to be aware of would be a “crime of moral turpitude”. Two (or more) misdemeanor convictions of moral turpitude crimes would put you in trouble and hurt your status. The good news is that if you’ve been arrested for this misdemeanor you may still be able to use the services of a Santa Ana Bail Bonds company.
Expungement will not work in Immigration matters
In all Immigration matters, you cannot say that you have never been convicted, like you would do on your job application form after you have expunged your misdemeanor conviction. Expungement might even make Attorney’s job harder and your Immigration case more complicated. Even though you did the right thing by contacting an Orange County bail bonds agent, you’ll need to protect yourself legally every step of the way. Even if you were not convicted of the crime of moral turpitude, they have a full right to assume that you did, so an extra step in this case will have to be taken in the order to obtain the full record from the Criminal Court and review your case in details in the order to determine if your crime was a crime of moral turpitude or not. This might add some time in Immigration procedures and have one of your hearings rescheduled while a Federal Attorney obtains your detailed criminal record (Docket). After all, staying away from any kind of trouble is highly advisable, but we know that this is easier said than done.