can I get my felony arson dropped or reduced?

UPDATED: May 20, 2009

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 20, 2009Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

can I get my felony arson dropped or reduced?

I was charged with setting a rubbish fire 6 years ago. I have been off probation 2 years now. I went to find a job only to find out I was really charged with a felony arson. No one will hire me. My whole life has been ruined because of one mistake? I can’t, no I don’t want to believe this. What can I do? I can’t pay my restitution and court fines with no job. I want this all behind me.Please help me!!

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor


In California, an expungement is a legal process by which a criminal conviction is dismissed.  A guilty plea, “no contest” plea or a finding of guilt by a judge or jury is set aside and the case is dismissed.  An expungement relieves the defendant of certain penalties and disabilities that result from a criminal action. The arrest, prosecution and conviction records remain in the file and a notation is placed in the file that the conviction has been dismissed.  The notation in the court file, the California Department of Justice and the FBI files reflect that a plea of not guilty has been entered and the case ordered to be dismissed by the court. 

Under California law, felony convictions can be expunged as long as the defendant did not serve a state prison sentence and successfully completed the terms of probation.

Basically, the requirements for expungement are:

  • Probation must have been satisfactorily completed or, if not granted probation, one year must have passed since date of judgment.
  • All court orders must have been obeyed.
  • Defendant must have been free from subsequent offenses.
  • Defendant must be living an honest and upright life.
  • Other conditions may affect defendant's eligibility status. 

Contact an attorney about this.  Good luck.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is the consequence of making mistakes in life and should deter people from committing crimes.  I suggest that you contact you probation officer and ask if there are employers out there that hire people with criminal records to make a transition with their life.  There are most likely groups and nonprofit companies that assit people coming out of jail or otherwise obtain jobs to get them back into the community - certainly these exist in CA.  Try going on line as well.  Once you complete your probation and this is behind you for more than 3 years, i suggest trying to get the change removed from your record - which you can do by filing certain papers (i.e. expungment).  Good luck!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption