How Long Does a Felony Stay on Your Record in California?
If you are accused of a felony in California, you’ll probably have several concerns regarding how a possible conviction will affect your future.
Depending on the facts, you may be able to get a felony expunged. While nothing is guaranteed, here’s what to know about felony charges in California and your record.
Offenses That Warrant Felony Charges
In California, some offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony — these are called “wobblers.” Depending on the details, penalties increase significantly. Typical crimes charged as straight felonies include but are not limited to:
Crimes that have the potential to be charged as a felony include but are not limited to:
Consequences Of Felony Convictions
The consequences of a felony conviction could haunt you even after serving a hefty jail sentence. Some of the common ways felons’ lives are affected by convictions include:
- Issues with citizenship or immigration
- Trouble with visitation or child custody
- Temporary loss of voting rights
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Restrictions placed on your professional license
- Professional license revocation
- Trouble maintaining relationships with friends and family
- Difficulty finding gainful employment
- Trouble obtaining affordable housing
How Long Will a Felony Remain on Your Record?
Felonies stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. However, if you seek expungement, it is possible to clear your record of the offense.
Can You Have a Felony Expunged?
Under specific circumstances, certain felony convictions may be eligible for expungement. But, some felony offenses are not eligible, including:
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Any crime that carries life in prison
- Capital crimes
Although expungement does not necessarily mean your record will be erased, it will protect you when someone runs a background check. Potential landlords, job prospects, and other parties will not be privy to your felony conviction if you get it expunged. In this way, you may be able to begin to rebuild your life in the aftermath of your felony conviction.
How to Get a Felony Expunged?
To get your felony expunged, you must meet certain requirements:
- You must not have served time in a California state prison
- You must have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony crime
- You must not have any outstanding court fees
- It must have been at least one year since you were convicted
- You must have been tried and convicted in a state court as opposed to a federal court
- You must not be facing any criminal charges currently
- You must not be in jail
- You must have completed the terms of your probation
- You must have completed your initial sentence
The process for felony expungement includes first reaching out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can review the details of your case to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements. From there, we can help you obtain and complete all the necessary forms to request an expungement.
Next, we file your petition for expungement and attend your hearing. We will then present evidence to support your case. The prosecuting attorney will have the opportunity to argue there are reasons why your record should not be expunged. From there, the judge will review the details of your case to determine whether expungement should be granted.
What Felonies Can You Remove?
Virtually any infraction, misdemeanor, or felony can be expunged as long as the requirements for expungement are met.
Some common felony crimes that may be eligible include:
- Child endangerment
- Grand theft
- Carrying a loaded firearm in public
- Spousal battery
- Criminal threats
Are Your Rights Still Limited After Expungement?
Although you may be eligible for expungement, your life could still be affected even if your record is expunged.
For example, if your gun rights were taken away due to your felony conviction, these will not be restored when your record is expunged. Furthermore, if you were required to register as a sex offender due to your felony conviction, this will also still apply.