Orange County Expungement Attorney

Orange County Expungement Lawyer

If you carry the weight of a criminal conviction, it can feel like a constant cloud that overshadows every aspect of your life. An expungement can be the fresh start you're looking for. Securing experienced legal representation from an Orange County expungement lawyer at The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia can make all the difference.

In California, expungement is one time of record cleaning. Expungement is covered under 1203.4, and expungement can make it easier for you to apply for a job, housing, and professional licensing. In this situation, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. We will review your Orange County criminal conviction, support you during this process, and help you clean your criminal record. Learn more about how we can help you below, and call us to schedule a case consultation.

Understanding How an Orange County Expungement Lawyer Can Help You

Understanding How an Orange County Expungement Lawyer Can Help You

As defined under California Penal Code Section 1203.4, expungement in California is a legal process that provides a type of relief for your record. It's important to note that expungement doesn't remove all traces of your conviction. Certain law enforcement agencies and courts can still access your old criminal records. In addition, you may be required to disclose your conviction when applying for public office or state licenses. Finally, certain felony convictions might not qualify for expungement. Familiarize yourself with the details below. Then, give us a call to start the process.

The Expungement Process in Orange County

There are a few steps involved in the expungement process in Orange County. The journey begins with the preparation and filing of the appropriate paperwork in court. This area of criminal law can be complicated, so you need an experienced lawyer. The process includes:

  • It all starts with filing a petition in the court where the conviction occurred. This often includes filing a '1203.4 Petition'.
  • This petition is essentially a request to the court to dismiss your guilty plea or verdict and set aside the conviction.
  • For the petition to be successful, you must demonstrate that you have successfully completed probation.
  • In addition to probation, it's necessary to show that all fines and restitution have been paid.
  • Furthermore, it's crucial to verify that you are not currently charged with a crime.
  • Once the court grants your petition, the conviction is dismissed, and your criminal record is updated to reflect this.

This process can be daunting, but understanding each step can make it seem less overwhelming. Remember, an experienced expungement lawyer can provide valuable guidance. With our help, we may be able to provide you with relief from your conviction. Contact our law firm for a consultation, and let us see if we can clean your criminal record.

The Timeline of the Expungement Process in Orange County, CA

When it comes to expunging a conviction in Orange County, understanding the timeline is an integral part of the process. Several factors contribute to the duration of this process. This includes case complexity and court backlog. A few key steps include:

  • The timeline begins with the filing of the petition for expungement.
  • Once the petition is filed, the court will review your application.
  • After the initial review, a hearing date is typically set.
  • During the hearing, the court will consider your petition and any opposition from the District Attorney's office.
  • You and your lawyer will have a chance to explain why your conviction should be set aside.
  • If the court decides in your favor, your conviction will be dismissed.

Keep in mind that while this timeline provides a general idea of the process, each case is unique. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you can streamline the process. Rely on our law office to help you.

Eligibility Requirements to Expunge a Criminal Record

Eligibility requirements to expunge a criminal record

In order to be eligible for expungement in California, you must meet several requirements. They include:

  • First, you must have successfully completed probation for the offense.
  • Second, you must not be currently charged with a crime, on probation for another offense, or serving a sentence.
  • Third, your conviction must not be for a felony that falls under certain categories, such as certain sex offenses.
  • Lastly, you must have complied with all orders from the court, including the payment of fines and restitution.

If you meet these requirements, you may be a candidate for expungement.

Crimes Ineligible for Expungement

In California, the law offers hope for those with certain types of criminal convictions. But, it's important to understand that not every criminal offense is eligible for expungement. Certain serious sex offenses committed against children are usually excluded from the expungement process. A few examples of crimes ineligible for expungement include:

While the above list provides an idea of the crimes that are ineligible, it is by no means exhaustive. Navigating the complex legal landscape of expungement can be challenging, but a skilled attorney can help understand the intricacies of these laws and evaluate the potential for expungement in your specific case. Keep in mind that while some crimes may not be expunged, other legal avenues might be available for relief. We can review the California penal code to see if your record qualifies for expungement. If so, we will guide you through the process.

Commonly Expunged Crimes in California

Commonly expunged crimes in California

Certain crimes are commonly expunged in California. These offenses generally include those that are not considered violent or serious felonies. If you have completed probation successfully, you may also be eligible for expungement. Take a look at a few examples of criminal expenses we might be able to expunge on your behalf.


Theft crimes can often be cleaned in California. This usually includes petty theft (such as shoplifting) or grand theft (involving higher-value items). This provision applies when the offender has fully served their sentence. This includes successfully completing their probation period. It's also critical that they have no new criminal charges pending. Having a theft conviction expunged can remove a lot of hurdles. This may make it easier to apply for jobs or housing. It could lessen the stigma associated with a criminal record.


Fraud offenses may be eligible for expungement under California law. This may include credit card fraud, insurance fraud, and check fraud. You will need to complete all court-ordered requirements. This includes fines, restitution, community service, or probation. Furthermore, the individual seeking expungement must not be serving a sentence for a different crime. You cannot be facing new charges, either. Having a fraud conviction expunged can open doors that might have been previously closed due to the conviction.

Possession Charges

Drug possession charges are frequently eligible for expungement in California. This includes those related to personal use. This encompasses charges for possession of controlled substances like cocaine or methamphetamine. This may also include charges for drug paraphernalia. You must have served your full sentence to be eligible for expungement. This includes your probation terms. Remember, you cannot be facing any new charges, either. Expungement of possession charges can reduce barriers to employment and education opportunities.


DUI convictions are among the most commonly expunged offenses in California. This trend often occurs because DUIs frequently involve first-time offenders. Again, you must have completed your sentence, including any probation. Furthermore, you cannot have any pending criminal charges. Expunging a DUI can help those affected regain control of their life, removing a major obstacle in their path to personal and professional success.


Prostitution convictions can indeed be expunged in California. To qualify, the individual must have completed their probation and fulfilled all court-ordered requirements, such as fines or counseling. Furthermore, they should not be involved in any new criminal activity. The expungement of a prostitution conviction can alleviate the negative social stigma and professional barriers associated with this offense.


In California, cases of simple assault, meaning situations where no serious injury occurred, can potentially be expunged. This possibility exists provided that the convicted individual has fully met all conditions of their sentence, including probation, and doesn't have new criminal charges pending. Expungement of an assault conviction can allow individuals to move forward with their lives without being continuously hindered by past mistakes.

Benefits of Clearing Your Record in Orange County

Clearing your criminal record carries several significant benefits that can greatly enhance your quality of life.

Employment Purposes

In the modern job market, having a criminal history can pose significant challenges. Many employers, in their due diligence, conduct criminal background checks as part of their hiring process. When a potential employer sees a criminal record, it may raise concerns about trustworthiness, responsibility, or liability, often leading to reluctance to offer employment.

Furthermore, certain industries are particularly sensitive to specific kinds of convictions. For instance, a theft conviction might be problematic when applying for roles that involve handling money. By having your record expunged, you can present yourself to potential employers without the cloud of a past criminal conviction, improving your chances of securing employment.

Obtaining a State License

If you need a state license in California, an expunged conviction can make the licensing process easier. Often, these professions require applicants to undergo a criminal background check. An unexpunged conviction could potentially lead to a denial of the application or other licensing difficulties.

However, with an expunged conviction, the offense is effectively dismissed, which could make it easier for you to obtain licensing you need for certain professional industries. This can significantly streamline the process, reducing the potential for delays or obstacles in obtaining a professional license.

Prevent Immigration Consequences

For non-citizens in the United States, a criminal conviction can have severe immigration consequences. Consequences could include being denied citizenship during the naturalization process. Some might even face deportation. These outcomes can have devastating impacts. This could separate families or force individuals to leave their established lives in the U.S.

By having a criminal record expunged, non-citizens can often mitigate these risks. Expungement does not erase the crime completely for immigration purposes. But, it can be a positive factor in immigration proceedings. So, it's always recommended to consult with an experienced attorney who understands both criminal and immigration law.

What a Section 1203.4 Expungement Does Not Do

Despite the relief brought about by the dismissal of a conviction under California Penal Code 1203.4, certain restrictions may still apply:

  • Driving privileges that were limited due to the conviction will not be altered by a dismissal;
  • If your driver's license was suspended or revoked as a result of the conviction, a dismissal won't reinstate it;
  • If the conviction rendered you incapable of owning or possessing a firearm, the dismissal won't reinstate these rights;
  • If you have a legal duty to register as a sex offender under Penal Code Section 290 in California due to the conviction, the dismissal won't exempt you from this obligation;
  • If you are found guilty of a separate criminal offense in the future, the dismissed conviction can still be taken into account as a prior conviction for sentencing enhancement;

For some of the issues mentioned above, there may be other post-conviction relief pathways available, such as acquiring a Certificate of Rehabilitation in California or obtaining a Governor's Pardon.

Other Types of Conviction Relief

As mentioned at the top, expungement is only one type of record cleaning. Other types of record cleaning are available, including:

  • Sealing of an arrest, possible after the dismissal of a charge. (851.91/851.92)
  • Sealing of an arrest based on factual innocence. (851.8)
  • Early termination of probation.
  • AB 1950 terminating probation early, which can make way for expungement.
  • Petition for a certificate of rehabilitation, which is required for a Governor's Pardon.
  • Reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, which can help you get your gun and voting rights back. (17(b)).
  • Prop 64 reduction and decriminalization of marijuana-related crimes.
  • Newly tiered registration statute, which can take away certain lifetime registrations.
  • Prop 47, which reduces certain drug and theft crimes to misdemeanors. This cannot return gun rights.

We will cover these in other sections.

Contact Our Orange County Expungement Attorney at The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia for a Case Evaluation

Contact our Orange County expungement attorney

Carrying a misdemeanor or felony conviction can have far-reaching effects on your life. Don't let your past mistakes dictate your future. Reach out to our experienced Orange County expungement lawyer at The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia for a case evaluation. We understand the nuances of the expungement process and will work diligently to give you the fresh start you deserve. Even if you plead guilty and spend time in state prison, your criminal case may still qualify for expungement. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.

Call us about your case today at
(714) 362-0157 for a
Free Confidential Consultation.

Our Newport Beach
5000 Birch Street, Suite 3000
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: (714) 362-0157

Why Choose
Frances Prizzia Criminal Defense Lawyers


Client Centered Approach

Our clients are our priority, we listen & have your best interests in mind. Our philosophy is that crime is simply a symptom of a bigger issue that should be addressed.

Reputation by Excellence

"Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by the National Trial Lawyers and Clients' Choice by Avvo.


Over 17+ Years of Criminal Defense Experience on your side.

Innovative & Determined

We think outside the box and never leave a stone unturned.

You're Not Just Another Client

You're in a difficult situation that requires attention. Our boutique legal team walks you through the legal process so you don't feel lost.


We are available 24/7 for emergencies & offer free confidential consultations.
fill out the form
Request Your Free
Confidential Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

Full Name*
Required Fields *
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.