My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal
California is more generous than most states when it comes to removing a conviction from your record and it even has a self-help center which will assist in that and provide you links to download any necessary forms.
If you navigate the site -- it's a little tricky -- it will walk you through the whole set-aside process from eligibility through the expungement
. I have linked you to it above.
When you use the self-help link above and get to the home page, click on "Criminal Law" from the column on the left. Then click on "Cleaning your Criminal Record
," scroll down towards the bottom of the page to the links and expand them so that you can see all of the steps.
Note that a California expungement is not a true expungement in that the arrest and dismissal will still appear on your record. You're not going to be able to do any better than the dismissal under CA's law, but a dismissal would still be better for you than a conviction.
Expungments are one of the few legal processes that does not require a lawyer. If for any reason you cannot get your matter expunged, then the next step would be to try to get a pardon from the governor.
A pardon would not erase the record either but would display your conviction as having been pardoned, which is official proof from the state's highest ranking official that you have turned your life around. Pardons are free. And no lawyer is necessary to apply, so you've got nothing to lose by filling out the form and giving it a try. You can get more information about obtaining a pardon at the link below:
A final option if the other two fail would be to pay a lawyer (don't try to do this one without one) and to have him petition to reopen your misdemeanor
with a view to getting it dismissed in the interest of justice
Judges have the power to dismiss a case under their powers of equity, even where the law does not provide for a dismissal. They are very cautious and sparing in their use of this power, and some will refuse to entertain a petition on these grounds at all. But they will do it to prevent an injustice.
You could likely find some California criminal lawyers who give free or low cost first consultations to get a sense of how likely this would be to work before you pay a couple of thousand dollars to a lawyer to try to get this done.
Hope these suggestions offer you some direction.