At The Law Offices of Michael Berg our San Diego criminal defense attorney understands the seriousness of criminal charges. If you are facing a misdemeanor, felony or federal charge we will fight for your rights.
401 W A St #2600
San Diego
United States
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Michael Berg

San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney | DUI, Federal Crimes


San Diego Expungement Attorney


Why Expungement is Important For Your Future

Expungement of a conviction record may be available if you have been convicted of a crime, either by having pleaded guilty to the crime or having been found guilty at trial. A criminal record can affect your life in ways you may not have thought about, cause problems with current and future employment, and even affect your ability to obtain credit. Anyone who does a background check on you can see a criminal conviction and will likely use that information to make decisions about your life:

  • Employers
  • State Licensing Agencies
  • Professional Organizations

Expungement can remove hurdles to obtaining gainful employment and professional licenses. These can be the first steps toward rebuilding a life and a career.

Benefits of Expunging A Criminal Record

Expunging a criminal record will result in a court entry showing that the case has been dismissed. A plea of guilty or no contest is withdrawn and a plea of not guilty is entered. If a guilty verdict was rendered in a trial, the verdict is set aside. In either case, the court is dismissing the conviction.
A benefit of having your record expunged is that you can answer that you have not been convicted of a crime on most job applications. However, if you apply for a government job, a job that requires a government-issued license, certificate or permit, or a security clearance, there will likely be a background investigation done. For these types of job applications, it is best to disclose the conviction and then indicate that the conviction has been expunged.

Who Is Eligible for Expungement?

Anyone who was granted probation and has either successfully completed the probation period, or who has good cause to terminate probation early, may be eligible to have his or her record cleared. The relief granted under California Penal Code Section 1203.4 in effect dismisses the offense but does not actually seal or “expunge” your record. To be eligible for expungement, one must not currently be on probation or parole, nor be serving a sentence for any other offense.

If you were convicted of a felony, there is a separate proceeding in which the felony must first be reduced to a misdemeanor, then expunged. Also, certain convictions are not eligible for expungement relief, so it’s important to contact an experienced expungement attorney in San Diego to see if you qualify.

Alternatives to Expungement

For felonies in which probation was not granted and a state prison sentence was served, a Certificate of Rehabilitation is the proper relief because such felony convictions (including certain sex offenses) cannot be expunged. A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order declaring that a person who was originally convicted for a crime is now rehabilitated. If a petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation is granted, it is then sent to the Governor’s Office by the Superior Court and constitutes an application for a Pardon.

What Expungement Does Not Provide

  • Expungement relief will not remove the conviction from your California criminal history records or FBI records. It will show the conviction and then show that the conviction was later dismissed per Penal Code Section 1203.4.
  • An expungement will not reinstate your right to own or possess firearms.  However, having a reduction to a misdemeanor may help with reinstatement of these rights if the offense was not one of violence.
  • An expungement will not permit you to omit the conviction on applications for government-issued licenses.
  • An expunged conviction will not prevent the conviction from being used as a “prior” to increase punishment on future convictions.  For example, if a conviction for  DUI is expunged, and a person is arrested for a second DUI within 10 years, the second DUI will be prosecuted as a second offense with all the punishments and penalties of a second conviction, regardless of the expungement of the first DUI.
  • An expunged offense will not prevent the conviction from being used by INS for removal and/or exclusion purposes.
  • Expungement will not be applicable for certain sex offenses, and for most sex offenses, will not delete the lifetime requirement for registration as a sex offender.
  • Expungement will not necessarily seal or remove the court case file from public inspection. An individual who knows how or where to look may still be able to find the court case file.

If you want to seek expungement relief for a criminal record, you need an expungement lawyer who understands the type of relief available and how to obtain it. Contact  San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Berg today at (619) 239- 2186 to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your case and the availability of obtaining post conviction relief.