A criminal conviction for a drug charge is a serious event that can wreak havoc on your future. Fortunately, it is often possible to expunge the conviction from your criminal record for many felonies and misdemeanors. In California, an expungement pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4, is the legal dismissal of a past guilty verdict.
Learn if a dismissal is possible in your case and what it involves.
In order to qualify for an expungement, you must meet the following three requirements: first, you must successfully complete your probation (or have that probation terminated early in a court of law) and paid all fines or restitution associated with your case. Second, you are not now serving a sentence or currently charged with a criminal offense. Third, you must finish any court ordered drug treatment program or other stipulation before you can seek dismissal of a conviction.
It is often in your best interest to seek an expungement. It allows you to answer "no" when asked if you have a criminal conviction when you apply for jobs with a private companies. This is because "not guilty" replaces your former plea of "guilty" or "no contest" in a successful expungement. With a legal dismissal, you might also be able to obtain a professional license or professional organization membership that is likely not possible with a conviction on your record.
Note the urban myth that drug charges in California get automatically deleted from your record after a time is only true in very limited scenarios. Unless your guilty verdict was for possession of marijuana or for transport or intent to give away less than 1 ounce of marijuana (and the case was in 1976 or later) your drug conviction will remain indefinitely, unless expunged.
In Riverside County, gaining an expungement requires preparing a petition and addressing the judge in court. This is most often handled by an attorney and your presence in court is often not required.
Helping individuals with expungements since 1999
If you are looking to expunge a drug or any other felony or misdemeanor criminal charge, please contact our law office to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We represent adults and juveniles/minors in all the Riverside County courts. Our law office assists individuals from the cities of Temecula, Menifee, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Corona or any other surrounding Riverside County city.