As a result of a criminal conviction, have you found it difficult, if not impossible, to be hired for a great job, or obtain a professional license, or obtain permanent residency and U.S. citizenship? At the offices of Law Office of Charles M. Mesirow, we have been providing the relief you and your family deserve. For over 40 years, we have offered assistance in seeking expungements and early terminations of probation and reductions of felonies to misdemeanors.
Many of the things that we take for granted as benefits of society are lost when someone has a juvenile or adult criminal record. Employers and educational institutions regularly conduct background checks on current and prospective employees curious about your past. Security clearances and insurance concerns over bonding often raise issues that cause employers to check deeply into an employee’s past.
If you hold a professional license, a subsequent conviction can adversely affect both your ability to work and your license to practice in your profession. You owe it to yourself and your family to look into retrieving your lost rights resulting from your conviction.
What is our goal?
Our goal is to clear your criminal history (adult and juvenile) that might negatively affect your chances for employment and education
Within a short period of time, our firm can file motions to have the criminal conviction reversed, set aside or dismissed. This process applies to both misdemeanor and felony cases in which you were not sentenced to state prison. We can also file a motion to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
The process begins with a motion to withdraw a plea retroactively. This means that the court reopens your case for good cause and allows you to withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest and enter a not-guilty plea. The court will then set aside and dismiss the conviction. From that point forward, you are considered no longer convicted of the offense. Your record will be changed to show a dismissal rather than a conviction.
What are the benefits of expungement?
Once we have successfully expunged or cleared your criminal record, you can answer “No” to a private employer asking if you have ever been convicted of a crime. Most government applications, however, ask you under penalty of perjury, if you have ever had a case expunged or cleared from your record, and you have a duty to respond truthfully. Also, if you are applying for a public office or a state license (i.e., real estate, doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.), you must disclose the conviction. Even so, the licensing agency may well find in your favor, given the fact that a court found good cause to expunge your conviction.
Felony expungements and reductions
In California, your conviction of a felony can be expunged if your were granted probation and you successfully completed all of the terms and conditions of your probation. In considering your case, the court will consider if you have been convicted of a new offense, are charged with any new offense, or are currently on probation.
There are many felony offenses that can be filed either as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the discretion of the District Attorney’s Office. These offenses are referred to as “wobblers.” Our firm may be able to have your case reduced to a misdemeanor if your felony conviction falls in this category. Once your felony conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor, it can also be expunged from your criminal record. Upon successful reduction of your felony to a misdemeanor, you will no longer be considered a “felon,” and will be relieved of the restrictions imposed on ex-felons. Upon the granting of these motions, the court will then send a copy of the court order to the Department of Justice to update your criminal record.
Contact us to discuss expungement, early termination of probation, or reduction. Call today for a free consultation.