There are many benefits of getting a criminal record expunged in California. If granted by a court, an expungement may assist with passing most background checks for employment and housing, making it easier to find employment or complete certificates for employment. A former offender may also become eligible for grants, making it easier to further his or her education. Most importantly, the stigma of having a criminal record may be alleviated, allowing the former offender to legally say that he or she has never been committed of the crime, or that the conviction was overturned by the court of law.
The importance of expungement in California has increased throughout the years as the state legislator has passed laws that increase the protections and benefits of expungement. For instance, the California Labor Code was modified to make it illegal for most non-government employers (and many government employers) to discriminate on the basis of a criminal record that was expunged (dismissed) pursuant to California Penal Code 1203.4 and its related counterparts.
WHAT EXPUNGEMENT DOESCalifornia laws make it illegal for commercial background check companies to provide information about expunged records to employers or landlords. This prohibition makes it much easier for those with an expunged record to find a job or housing. Making the benefits of expungement even better is the fact that California does not make arrest records public after a case is complete. So, once the case is expunged, there a criminal episode that was once a conviction, should not appear on a person’s background check. Please note, there a difference between commercial background checks and rap sheets provided by the California Department of Justice, often referred to as a LiveScan report or DOJ report. Rap sheets will show arrest records as well as the some procedural history on expunged cases. According to Mary Work, an attorney who specializes in helping former offenders obtain or protect their professional licenses, expungement is beneficial, even though the expunged case needs to be disclosed to the licensing authority. The expungement shows that the case has been resolved in the most favorable way possible and that the expungement is a sign of rehabilitation. There are a lot of reasons by expungement is a great investment and why every year there are thousands of people hire attorneys to expunge records.
WHAT EXPUNGEMENT DOES
The following videos provide additional information about the benefits of expungement: