San Diego Expungement & Post-Conviction Lawyer
Post-Conviction Relief in San Diego
If you have been charged and found guilty by the criminal justice system in San Diego, you may think that sentencing is your last chance to provide a defense to minimize the consequences of your conviction. The reality is that in the hands of a skilled criminal defense attorney, there are still many post-conviction defense opportunities for you to overcome the consequences of your conviction. At Monder Law Group, we have vast experience successfully handling all types of post-conviction cases. Whether you require us to recall an outstanding warrant, appear on your behalf for a violation of probation, request early termination of probation, petition for a felony reduction and/or expungement, or apply for a certificate of rehabilitation we are here to help you get your life back. Give us a call at (619)405-0063 to discuss the specifics of your case and see what post-conviction relief may be available to you.
Probation is an alternative to confinement, whereby the court has complete discretion to decide what probation terms are appropriate for your offense. In exchange for suspending your sentence, you will be required to adhere to the court’s specific conditions under the supervision of probation services. It is very important that you understand that your release is conditional. This means that if you violate a term of your probation at any time during your probationary period, probation services has discretion whether to issue a warning or have the court issue a warrant for your arrest. Pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.2, law enforcement officers may re-arrest you and bring you before the court for the offense of violating your probation. If this happens to you, it is crucial that you know that you have a right to a probation violation hearing and to have a criminal defense attorney represent you. If at the probation violation hearing you are found guilty, the court has discretion to order a brief confinement, extend your probationary period, revoke your probation and either impose the original sentence or the maximum sentence. These are all life-altering consequences, that is why it is imperative that you retain a criminal defense attorney with vast experience handling probation violations in San Diego county. Our team has vast experience working with the Probation Department in San Diego County and understands the complexities of probation violations. We will use all of our resources to investigate the circumstances surrounding your violation and fight the allegations against you to obtain the reinstatement of your probation. Ensure your best outcome by contacting San Diego post-conviction criminal defense attorneys today at (619)405-0063!
Early Termination of Probation
In California, there are two types of probation that the court may order as an alternative sentence to confinement, summary and formal probation. Summary probation is available as a sentencing alternative for misdemeanor convictions for less serious offenses. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense and sentenced to summary probation, you will be under the supervision of the court for a probationary period of one to three years. Formal probation is reserved only for felony convictions for more serious offenses. If you are convicted of a felony offense and the court sentences you to formal probation, you will face a stricter form of probation. The court will order probation services to supervise you, this means you will be required to report once a month to your probation officer. The probationary period for formal probation is three to five years. For both summary and formal probation, you will be required to adhere to the specific conditions the court imposed for the entire duration of your probationary period. Over time, probation terms can become a very heavy burden to carry while trying to find employment or education opportunities. If you have been sentenced to probation, complied with the terms of your probation, and are at least halfway through the probationary period, you do not need to complete the entire probationary period at the expense of your reformation! You can retain experienced post-conviction criminal defense attorneys to petition the court for an early termination of probation. Pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.3, the court has full discretion to revoke, modify, change or terminate a probationary period when the good conduct and reform of the probationer warrants it and the ends of justice will be subserved by discharging the probationer. To make this determination the court will look at the reason for your request, your criminal history, your compliance with probation, and the severity of the underlying offense. At Monder Law Group, our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation to prepare the evidence that shows that you have successfully completed the terms of probation and that during your probationary period you have reformed your conduct. We’ll file the motion with the designated court and at your early termination of probation hearing, assert the specific legal justifications that warrant an early termination of probation in your case.
Overcoming a criminal past and rehabilitating into society is a daunting task when a criminal record exists for anyone to access. A criminal conviction represents the loss of your constitutional rights and can interfere with housing, employment, and education opportunities. You know that you made a mistake, you were convicted for it and served your sentence. There is no reason why you should continue having to pay such a high price in the future for a mistake you made in the past. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony offense that is not considered a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law and you did not serve a state prison sentence, you may be eligible to petition the court for an expungement. The expungement of a criminal record is a post-conviction remedy that becomes available upon the successful completion of your probation. The expungement process is governed by California Penal Code section 1203.4, by which you petition the court to remove a conviction from your criminal record after you have completed your sentence. If your petition for expungement is granted, the court will withdraw the finding of guilt and change the disposition of your case from a conviction to a dismissal. If you wish to finally be released from all the penalties and disabilities associated with a criminal conviction contact expungement criminal defense attorneys today at (619)405-0063. At Monder Law Group, we know that the key to a successful expungement is to conduct a full background check and provide the court with vast evidence of your good behavior and rehabilitation into society. We will request your file from the designated court to review the specifics of your case and confirm the terms and completion of probation. Once your eligibility is confirmed, we will file the petition with the court and provide the prosecution with notice of the expungement hearing. At your expungement hearing, our defense team will make a compelling argument that your successful completion of probation and future endeavors to become a productive member of society merit the expungement of your criminal conviction.
In California, wobbler crimes are offenses that the issuing attorney at the District Attorney’s Office has discretion to charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Which category the issuing attorney decides to charge you under will depend on the nature of the crime and the penalties associated with the offense. A misdemeanor charge is applied to the less serious criminal offenses. Misdemeanor convictions may result in confinement in county jail, a fine, and summary probation. Whereas, felony charges are usually reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. As such, penalties for felony convictions carry severe consequences that will impact the rest of your life. A convicted felon may be incarcerated in state prison for at least one year and lose the right to vote and serve on a jury, or receive formal probation and lose the right to own a firearm and have a professional license revoked. You may be able to avoid having to live out the rest of your life as a convicted felon, contact our expert team now to find out if the underlying offense for your conviction was a wobbler. Under California Penal Code section 17(b), a person convicted of a felony can have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor if the underlying offense is a wobbler and for which the defendant was sentenced to felony probation and completed probation. This means that regardless of what stage you are in the criminal justice system if you have not served time in state prison, you may be eligible to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor. At Monder Law Group we have vast experience handling wobbler cases, negotiating with the prosecution to overcome aggravating factors, and presenting mitigating factors to obtain felony reductions at all stages of the criminal justice process.
Certificate of Rehabilitation
A certificate of rehabilitation is essentially a court order declaring that you are rehabilitated in society. This form of post-conviction relief is only available for certain felony convictions and misdemeanor sex offense convictions. To qualify for a certificate of rehabilitation you must have been a resident of California for five years before filing the petition, have served out your sentence, and not have been incarcerated during the period of rehabilitation. Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 4582.03, the required period of rehabilitation is between two to five years depending on the specific crime and begins to run when you complete your sentence and are discharged from custody or released on parole or probation, whichever is sooner. The petition for a certificate of rehabilitation consists of the application, a detailed accounting of all prior criminal convictions, and character letters from witnesses that can vouch for your successful rehabilitation. Once the petition is complete it must be filed with the county clerk at the Superior Court of California in the county where you reside. The District Attorney’s Office will then be responsible for thoroughly reviewing your petition and may conduct an investigation to confirm that you meet the eligibility requirements for a certificate of rehabilitation. If you do meet the eligibility requirements, the court will schedule a hearing on your petition and mail you out a notice of the date of the hearing. In turn, you will be required to send out a notice of the hearing to the District Attorney’s Office in each county that you have received a conviction from, this must be done at least 30 days prior to the hearing date. As you can see requesting a certificate of rehabilitation is a complex process, that is why the experience of a post-conviction criminal defense attorney is invaluable to your success. At Monder Law Group, we know how to successfully demonstrate your rehabilitation thru the petition and have vast experience obtaining certificates of rehabilitation for our clients in Southern California. If you are seeking relief from sex offender registration, are looking to have your citizenship rights restored, or want to apply for pardon by the governor, contact post-conviction criminal defense attorneys today to see if you qualify for a certificate of rehabilitation to clear your name!
If you are required by law to appear in court and fail to make your court appearance, a judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If you are unsure if you have an outstanding criminal warrant in San Diego, the best thing for you to do is to search for your name in the warrant information database on the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department website. If you find that you have an outstanding criminal warrant, then pursuant to California Penal Code section 978.5 you could be facing misdemeanor charges for failing to appear when a court orders you to personally appear. A conviction under PC section 978.5 may result in up to six months in county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and summary probation. These are significant consequences, you must avoid them at all costs by retaining an experienced post-conviction criminal defense attorney to recall your warrant and explain your personal circumstances to the court. It is important to point out that if your outstanding warrant is for a felony offense, then you will be required to personally appear with your attorney to have the warrant recalled. Do not let this discourage you, contact us today so we can take control of the situation before it is too late!
Contact San Diego Expungement and Post-Conviction Attorneys for a FREE consultation today at: 619-405-0063
Q: What is a temporary fourth amendment waiver?
A: If you have received a criminal conviction and at sentencing the court orders probation in lieu of confinement, you will be required to sign a temporary fourth amendment waiver as a condition of your release. Effectively, you waive your reasonable expectation of privacy and consent to warrantless searches and seizures by the government during your probationary period. Since the fourth amendment waiver is temporary, once the court terminates your probationary period, you regain your fourth amendment right to privacy.
Q: What are some general terms of probation?
A: Probationers must all adhere to the following probation terms:
- Abide by the Law
- Appear at Court Hearings
- Obtain and maintain employment
- Pay Court Fines
- Pay Restitution to the Victim
- Report to Probation Services
- Submit to Periodic Drug Testing
- Successful Completion of Court Orders
Q: What factors will the court consider for probation violations?
A: At your probation violation hearing, the court will look at the specific term of probation that you violated, any prior warnings for probation violations that you have received, the existence of other probation violations, and the seriousness of the underlying offense you were convicted of. The court will also take into account your probation officer’s recommendation, the prosecution’s request, and the mitigation that your attorney has presented.
Q: What does a motion for early termination of probation consist of?
A: A motion for early termination of probation includes a notice of the motion, your declaration in support of the motion, points, and authorities in support of the motion and a court order.
Q: Who is not eligible for early termination of probation?
A: If you have not served at least half of your probationary term, have pending misdemeanor or felony charges against you, are serving a sentence, or are currently on probation for separate offense, you do not qualify for early termination of probation.
Q: What are the implications of early termination of probation in expungement cases?
A: An expungement is a post-conviction remedy that does not become available until you have completed your probationary period. If you are granted an early termination of probation, you will not have to serve the full probationary period for the court to consider your probation successful. This would expedite the expungement process by making you eligible to petition for an expungement sooner.
Q: What are the implications of felony wobbler offense in expungement cases?
A: Since wobblers may be filed by the prosecution as either a misdemeanor or a felony, your criminal defense attorney must identify any wobbler offense in your case before submitting a motion for expungement to the court. This way you do not waive your right to a felony reduction. Pursuant to Penal Code section 17(b) if you received a felony conviction for a wobbler offense, you are eligible to petition the court to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor conviction. However, if your expungement is granted without first submitting the petition to reduce the felony wobbler conviction, you no longer have this post-conviction relief. That is why it is in your best interest to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney that can maximize your relief by filing you’re your felony reduction and expungement petitions with the designated court at the same time.
Q: Who does not qualify for an expungement in California?
A: If you have pending misdemeanor or felony charges against you, are serving a sentence for another offense or are currently on probation for any offense, you are not eligible for an expungement under California Penal Code section 1203.4.
Q: What are the limitations of an expungement?
A: If you are applying for a state license or local agency, public office, or contracting with the California State Lottery Commission an expungement will not relieve you from the obligation to disclose your prior criminal conviction.
Q: Who qualifies for a felony reduction in California?
A: To qualify for felony reduction you must have been convicted of a felony for a wobbler offense and were either sentenced to imprisonment in county jail as a condition of probation or sentenced to felony probation and have completed probation.
Q: Who is not eligible for a felony reduction in California?
A: If you were convicted of a straight felony or were sentenced to state prison, you are not eligible for a reduction of a felony conviction to a misdemeanor.
Q: What factors will the court consider for felony reduction petitions?
A: At your felony reduction hearing, the court will consider the nature and seriousness of the underlying offense, your criminal history, your compliance with the terms and conditions of probation, and your personal circumstances.
Q: What are the limitations of a felony reduction?
A: If you were convicted of a felony wobbler offense that requires sex offender registration, reducing your conviction to a misdemeanor will not relieve you of compliance with California Penal Code section 290. A felony reduction will also not relieve you of a strike pursuant to California’s Three Strikes Law if the felony wobbler offense constitutes a strike.
Q: What is a governor’s pardon?
A: A Governor’s Pardon is a form of post-conviction relief, where the Governor of California grants forgiveness to a former convicted felon who demonstrates exemplary conduct after receiving the conviction.
Q: Who is eligible for a governor’s pardon in California?
A: To be eligible for a governor’s pardon in California you must have received a conviction in the state, served out your sentence in the state, and upon being released from probation or parole have remained a law-abiding citizen for a minimum of 10 years before applying.
Q: How do I apply for a governor’s pardon in California?
A: You must first file a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation. If the court grants your certificate of rehabilitation it will automatically serve as your application for a governor’s pardon. The Superior Court will forward the certificate to the Office of the Governor as the application for a governor’s pardon.
Q: What is required to prove exemplary conduct?
A: To prove exemplary conduct you must be able to show that after your conviction you satisfactorily completed your sentence, successfully rehabilitated back into society, obtained and maintained lawful employment, and remained a law-abiding member of the community in which you reside.
Q: What are the limitations of a governor’s pardon?
A: A governor’s pardon is limited to criminal convictions in the state of California, the governor cannot grant a pardon outside of this jurisdiction. This means that if you have received a federal conviction in the state of California or you reside in California but have received criminal convictions from other states, the governor of California does not have the authority to pardon you.
Q: What is a bench warrant in California?
A: In California, a bench warrant may be issued by a judge based on a failure to appear in court or activity that is considered to be in contempt of court. If the judge issues a bench warrant against you, your warrant information will be entered into the National Crime Information Center to effectuate your arrest. This means that any law enforcement officer can arrest you and bring you directly before the court that issued the bench warrant.
Q: What is an arrest warrant in California?
A: In California, law enforcement is authorized to make a warrantless arrest for criminal conduct that the arresting officer personally witnesses. However, if law enforcement officers only have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, this is insufficient for a warrantless arrest. To request an arrest warrant, law enforcement officers will have to file a complaint with the court in the jurisdiction where the alleged criminal activity occurred. To issue an arrest warrant, the judge must find that the law enforcement officers provided probable cause that you committed a crime. This means that if the judge finds probable cause exists that would lead a reasonable person to believe that you have in fact committed a crime, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will be incarcerated.
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