Some people with felony or misdemeanor convictions may be eligible to have the records of their crime sealed or destroyed. This process is called expungement.
Once a person has served their sentence, they need to be able to move on. Criminal records can negatively affect voting rights, employment opportunities, and other aspects of people's day-to-day lives. When people released from jail or prison are unable to reintegrate into society, they're more likely to recidivate (commit a new crime). Cleaning up a person's record can help them get legal employment and restore their voting rights. - CanIExpunge.org
However, if a person is convicted of a crime that falls under the purview of a state’s expungement laws and they successfully expunge that record, then if they are asked on a job, rental or mortgage application if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense, they can honestly answer “no.”
Recognizing that these types of records may do an inordinate amount of unintended damage to a person’s life, every state has enacted some form of criminal record expungement. Expungement is the process of sealing or destroying court records, meaning that the record is no longer available to be accessed and a person no longer needs to reveal the details surrounding the incident to which the record pertains. Each state administers their own form of expungement, and criteria and the application of expungement laws will vary from state to state. - Eligibility.org
Defendants convicted of a misdemeanor, or felons sentenced to probation, local county time or AB109 may be eligible to file an Expungement. Defendants may file this petition once they have paid all fines and fees associated with the case, are no longer on probation, and have no open or active cases. - Fresno County Public Defender's Office
There are a few ways you can get help with clearing your record. Each county has its own rules and resources, so choose the one you live in for more information.
The Clean Slate Program is available to help Fresno County residents clear their records. To speed up the process, applicants should first get a copy of their RAP sheet from the Fresno Police Department Records and Information Service Bureau.
For a personal consultation, you can attend the Clean Slate Clinic. Call (559) 263-8915 on Monday between 8:30 and 10:30 am to make an appointment. Clinics occur Tuesdays and Thursdays at
Fresno EOC Neighborhood Youth Center
1805 E. California Ave.
Fresno, CA 93706
Some nonviolent felonies may be eligible to be reduced to a misdemanor charge on your record. Additionally, under Prop 64, some marijuana charges may be eligible for reduction or dismissal. The easiest way to do this is to request it with your expungement. Visit the Fresno County Public Defender's website to learn more.
The Clean Slate program is also available to Tulare County residents.
The Tulare County Public Defender's office has resources available online.
Code For America has an online application you can use to check your eligibilty. To learn more, visit ClearMyRecord.org
Illustrations by Pablo Stanley at humaaans.com.
Disclaimer: Code For America, Code for Fresno, 59 Days of Code, and the creator of this website are not attorneys or legal advisors. The information displayed on this website does not constitute official legal advice. If you have any questions, please consult an attorney or contact your county for more information. No results are guaranteed.