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Expunging Domestic Violence

In California, domestic violence occurs when a person commits a criminal act within one of the types of relationships specified by the California Penal Code:

  • Spouse or former spouse
  • Cohabitant or former cohabitant
  • A parent with whom the individual has a child
  • A partner in a dating relationship

If you have a previous conviction for Domestic Violence and you have completed probation, and you have not had any other incidents, you might be eligible for expungement. In order to pursue expungement, you will need to file a Petition for Expungement, set a hearing date, serve the DA with a copy of the Petition, and appear at your hearing.

What Does It Mean to Expunge My Record?

If you are able to successfully obtain a 1203.4 dismissal ("expungement"), it does NOT mean that your conviction is completely wiped away, sealed, purged or destroyed. Your arrest and charges will still be there, but technically, the conviction is "set aside and dismissed."

Having your record expunged means the following things:

  • On your official criminal history kept in Sacramento, the case number will have the words "set aside and dismissed" next to it instead of "convicted". This can be helpful when you apply for state licenses. Employers will also be able to see that the conviction was dismissed when conducting a background check.
  • If you are asked about any criminal convictions by a potential employer, you can honestly answer no. This is because legally speaking, the conviction is gone. If you know that a potential employer will be conducting a background check, you should let them know that you had a case dismissed, just in case they don’t notice your expungement when they look through public records.
  • You must answer yes to previous convictions if asked by the INS or any state or local licensing agency. You must also answer yes on contracts with the state lottery and in applications for public office.
  • If you're applying for a job in a different state, you should be on the safe side and tell potential employers that you had a case but it was dismissed, just in case the state has different rules.

What About the Police & Government Agencies?

  • Expunged convictions can still be used as priors and strikes.
  • Expunged convictions can still affect your driving privileges.
  • Expunged convictions can still restrict your ability to possess a firearm.
  • Expungement does not affect sex offender registration requirements.
  • Expungement can help you get a state license, but it's not guaranteed. You should check with the licensing agency to see if you can get a license with your criminal background, even if your convictions are expunged.

Talk to a Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you want to learn more about how to get your domestic violence charge expunged, you should immediately speak to our criminal defense attorneys in Dublin. We have been defending the rights of clients accused of serious crimes since 1981, and we have the skills and resources that you need to obtain the justice you deserve.

Call (888) 865-0741 to schedule your free consultation with our lawyers today.

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