Hundreds of people each year have their request to have their criminal record expunged denied by judges in Los Angeles County. A large percentage of the applications would be approved if three simple steps were followed.
These steps are especially important when the applicant did not completely comply with all requirements of probation. Judges are much less likely to approve a request to expunge a record if the applicant did not perfectly comply with every probation requirement. The underlying reason for the increased difficulty is the fact that the law, California Penal Code section 1203.4, gives judges much wider latitude to deny expungement requests when the probationer does not perfectly comply with the terms of probation
Recommendation 1. Prepare a persuasive written declaration that explains how expungement will help you, the positive things that you have done since your last conviction, and any other changes in your life that would lead the court to believe that you are rehabilitated and deserving of expungement. You can prepare this statement in any format you like as long as it is signed under the penalty of perjury. The California Judicial Council has an optional form that can be used for making your declaration; the form is titled MC-030 and can be found on the California Judicial Council web site.
Recommendation 2. Include supporting evidence. If your declaration talks about going to school, include transcripts or proof of enrollment. If your declaration talks about completing training programs, rehabilitation programs, or anything else that can be proved or supported with evidence, include the evidence. The evidence adds credibility to your declaration and also shows the court that you put time and work into your request for expungement.
Recommendation 3. Include letters of recommendation. A letter of recommendation from someone who knows you can be very persuasive. The person does not to be anyone special- no need to ask the mayor. You just need someone who can say they know you well and that they know that you are deserving of expungement. These letters can be written in any format, but should be signed by hand and under the penalty of perjury in the state of California. The aforementioned form MC-030 can also be used.
Following these three easy recommendations can dramatically increase the chances of success when trying to expunge your criminal record in Los Angeles. The small amount of extra time it takes is worth it to secure something that can provide a lifetime of benefits.