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  • Palo Alto Office

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    220 South California Avenue
    Suite 246
    Palo Alto, California 94306

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Established Bay Area Lawyer Helps With Criminal Record Expungements

Dedicated California criminal defense firm helps clients clear arrest records

If you have an arrest or criminal record, you may find you are having a difficult time even after your debt to society has been paid. In some cases, California law allows criminal records to be expunged, or hidden, so that people can move beyond past mistakes. At Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law in Palo Alto, California, I work to help clients clear their criminal records through expungement. Having practiced criminal law in California for more than 40 years, I understand the wide-ranging personal challenges people face after an arrest or conviction. By having your record expunged, you can more easily apply for a job or loan or any activity requiring a background check. You may also gain peace of mind by being able to finally put an unpleasant chapter of your life behind you.

Knowledgeable Palo Alto lawyer guides clients through the expungement process

Though it is not possible to have a record completely erased in California, it is possible to have a conviction dismissed or changed to “not guilty” and the record sealed, so that most people cannot see evidence of your arrest or conviction. Government agencies such as the DMV and law enforcement will still be able to access your record.

You may be eligible for a felony expungement if you fulfilled the conditions of your sentence, including probation. However, not everyone is eligible to have their record cleaned. Both felony and misdemeanor convictions may be cleared unless the felony conviction resulted in a state prison sentence. An exception to the state prison rule is if the crime would have resulted in a county jail sentence instead, in light of the 2014 passage of Proposition 47. Prop 47 applies to drug crimes such as possession and to certain theft crimes.

Different types of criminal offenses come with different requirements for obtaining expungement. You will need a copy of your criminal record for the expungement application. Santa Clara County charges a fee to file for an expungement, although not all counties do. Once you file a petition, it will usually take between a few weeks and a few months to get a response. Hiring a lawyer may help relieve some of the stress of the application process.

As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I can help prepare the necessary paperwork for your expungement and offer advice on related tasks. If you are still serving probation or ever violated probation and would like to seek an expungement, I will review your case and work to help you overcome these added challenges.

Caring attorney helps clients move past the stigma of a criminal record

With your conviction made virtually invisible, you can move forward without the burden of having to report your felony charge or misdemeanor in many circumstances. With few exceptions, most potential employers, schools, landlords and other individuals and organizations will see no evidence of your criminal record upon conducting a background check. This may lead to an increased likelihood of acceptance into a higher education program, qualifying for financial aid and being able to obtain professional licenses, among other benefits. When you do not have to worry about how people will see you based on your past, the possibilities for your future open wider.

Contact an accomplished Bay Area defense attorney for help with criminal expungements

An arrest or criminal conviction based on one mistake should not have to impact the rest of your life. If you are eligible for an expungement in California, Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law is prepared to help you clear your record. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation at my Palo Alto office, call 650-781-6530 or contact me online