Can a misdemeanor for a first count of petty theft, be expunged before 1 year?

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Can a misdemeanor for a first count of petty theft, be expunged before 1 year?

Or does the conviction have to sit for a full year from your court date before you can file to have it sealed or expunged? Is there nothing I can do to contest this rule? All terms of probation have been met.

Asked on November 16, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If in fact the law on expungement is as you say that it is in California, probably not.  The law is most likely not discretionary, meaning that the courts have the right to modify it as they see fit.  You may want to speak with an attorney in the area that does this type of work on a regular basis and see if there are any "loop holes" in the law that allow a party to file a petition earlier than the statute permits.  California is a fairly liberal state so you never know. And the fact that your conviction is for a misdemeanor (was it shoplifting?) and a relatively "mild" offense may be in your favor. Good luck. 


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