Unfortunately, your past can haunt you for a long time, especially if you have a criminal record. For example, potential landlords have the right to perform a background check before renting to you. They may refuse you a residence if they uncover convictions or arrests.
Employers are not permitted to ask about your criminal record until they offer you a position. Once they extend a conditional job offer, however, they may question you about prior arrests and convictions. A criminal history might cost you a lucrative position.
Clearing your criminal history
Under California law, you may be eligible to remove convictions from your background. If successful, prospective employers and landlords will never see your criminal record.
Most misdemeanors and many felonies can be expunged, or erased, from your history. It is wise to seek legal guidance to ensure your situation qualifies for expungement. Certain offenses remain ineligible for dismissal. Examples include:
- Other sex crimes
- Escaping a secure perimeter
Felony offenses resulting in a death penalty or lifetime prison sentence are also ineligible for expungement as well.
Are there fees for clearing your record?
It costs $60 to remove misdemeanors from your criminal background and $120 for felony expungements. The court may waive the fee if you cannot afford it, but you must complete and submit a financial declaration form.
The information here on cleaning up your criminal background is by no means complete. Before you get started, learn more about how expungement works in your region. Doing so can help you determine if you are currently eligible to remove arrests and convictions from your record. Having legal guidance can help.