Santa Ana Expungement Lawyer

Want to have your criminal record cleared?

Committing a crime can have a serious impact on your record and reputation. If you are concerned about the effect of your criminal charges, seek legal counsel from Darwish Law. Our defense lawyer is dedicated to offering our clients the highest level of representation and support. We know how difficult this time can be, especially with your future on the line, which is why we are here to provide the aggressive defense you deserve.

With numerous years of experience, our firm is passionate about helping individuals who want to secure a fresh start. We have the legal resources and knowledge to handle a wide range of criminal matters, working closely with our clients to find the best solution to their problems. With an expungement, you could improve your employment and housing opportunities, as well as your financial prospects. If you are seeking peace of mind and would like to say goodbye to your criminal record, be sure to speak with our law firm right away.

About the Expungement Process

When you have a criminal past, such as a conviction from a guilty plea, this will show up on your record. Potential employers, landlords, and educational facilities will all be able to access this or request information on this in most cases. Having this expunged means the case will be set aside and dismissed, removing it from your record. From misdemeanors to felonies, we know how to successfully have a record expunged.

In the case of felony charges, you will need to have your charges reduced to a misdemeanor for an expungement to be allowed. It is crucial that you enlist legal counsel for this matter, as you will need to petition the court to withdraw a jury verdict, guilty plea or accusation of criminal actions. Unfortunately, there are some crimes that cannot be expunged due to certain laws, including some types of the following:

  • Sex Crimes
  • Child Molestation
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Murder
  • Violent Crimes
  • Numerous Convictions


A criminal conviction may be hurting your chances to attend college, get a job, advance in your career, or even rent a place.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can help clear up your record through one of the following: 1) Expungement, 2) Certificate of Rehabilitation, and 3) Pardon.

Under Penal Code Section 1203.4, you can expunge your conviction and clear it off your record.

An expungement is permitted when you have successfully completed your sentence and all conditions of your probation, you are not charged with any other crime or serving time for any other offense, and you did not serve prison time for the offense you were convicted of.

If a judge successfully grants an expungement, your case will be dismissed.  However, the dismissal will not erase the offense from your record. The dismissal will simply keep certain employers, landlords, and credit agencies from seeing the conviction when they conduct a background check.  But for purposes of a job interview, not including a government job, you can answer that you have never been convicted of a crime.

Certificate of Rehabilitation

Under Penal Code Sections 4852, you can get a Certificate of Rehabilitation to declare that you have been rehabilitated and are now a law-abiding citizen. A Certificate of Rehabilitation does not clear your criminal record.  However, in some cases, it will end your duty to register under Penal Code section 290, make it easier for you to get a job, or obtain a professional state license.  A Certificate of Rehabilitation also automatically applies you for a Governor’s Pardon.

To start the process, you must file a Petition for a Certificate of Rehabilitation in the Superior Curt of the county where you reside.  A judge then has the discretion to issue a Certificate of Rehabilitation upon proper petition.  If a judge grants the petition, it is then sent to the California Governor.  

Usually, a considerable amount of time must have passed without any violations of the law to show one is rehabilitated.  Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney to see if you are a good candidate for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.


Under Penal Code Section 4852.01, a Pardon is granted by the California Governor to those who have been rehabilitated of a crime.  The Pardon does not expunge one’s conviction or seal the criminal record. One still has to disclose the conviction on a job application or at job interview. 

However, upon the successful grant of a Pardon, many of the civil and political rights are restored.

These rights may include owning a firearm in some cases, serving on a jury, and being considered for appointment as a state parole agent or a county probation officer.

The chances of getting a Pardon granted are greatly improved with the passage of time and without any new law violations.  This exemplifies one’s good citizenship and rehabilitation over time.  Contact a criminal defense attorney to see whether you qualify for the Governor’s Pardon.

Why wait any longer to enjoy a clean record? Contact our Orange County Criminal Lawyer to start discussing your case!