Expungement does not erase a conviction from a person’s record. However, it does signify that a person has completed probation, was not sentenced to prison, and has been rehabilitated to the lawful satisfaction of a judge.
It used to be that only persons sentenced to probation were eligible for an expungement. This meant that persons sent to jail or prison were ineligible and were stuck with a conviction on their record. However, given recent efforts at criminal justice reform (such as Proposition 47, Proposition 64, and AB 109 Realignment) those legally qualified to apply for expungement has changed.
Here are eleven (11) common questions that a criminal defense attorney can be asked about expungement—and how to answer them in light of the recent developments in criminal justice reform.