Criminal Records, Expungement expungment help

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When I got charged I paid my fines and finished my community service and my case got closed. Now I am applying for medical school and I need my case to get expunged so I can get accepted. I am not sure how the expungment process works though. I can not afford an attorney or laywer, I do not work right now and I get financial aid to pay for school. I know I have to go to the court and get an expungement petition but where do I go to get help filling out the petition. Do I go to the public defenders office and if so how much would that cost? Do public defenders represent me in court for free or do I have a good chance of getting my expungment approved if I represent myself? I just dont know where to call to get free representation or if I should just go myself.
Public defenders are for criminal cases not expungement. You need to pony up a few grand and hire a Lawyer to expunge your record if possible
Go pro se, but at the right time!


It's good that you have paid the fines and have also completed community service, but the most important condition that needs to be satisfied before a Petition for Relief (Expunging Records) can be entertained is the 3-year (Summary) Probation Period itself of which you have made no mention in your post. If you have completed the probation period, then you are free to go to take the next step by petitioning the court, but if the period is still running, the petition for relief will not be considered and you would be wasting your time.

In any event, whether you do it now or at a later date, the expungment process in California is extremely simple and painless for which you ABSOLUTELY do not need to hire an attorney and can go pre se and this is how it works:

The first thing you do is to obtain the one-page form entitled PETITION FOR RELIEF (P.C. 1203.4 & 1203.4a) by either downloading it from the California Superior Court's website or by visiting the court's civil office. The form is the whole of one page and very simple to fill out and once you do, make three copies (original plus 2) and take them to any of the clerks for filing. Once all copies are dated and stamped, the original is placed inside the appropriate court's numbered bin situated inside the civil office and you will serve the District Attorney's office with the second copy, and you get to keep the third for your own record.

It used to be that a Noticed Hearing was scheduled before a judge for oral arguments before a decision was handed down, but you will be happy to know that that is no longer the case. The petition, including any opposing papers from the D.A's office (if any) will be considered by the judge in chamber and a decision rendered, of which you will be notified by mail in 2 to 3 weeks.

And that's all, she wrote! There is nothing else to it. But if you are still completing probation, do not waste your time and wait until the probation is over and then file the petition.

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