Darren Chaker reports on a new appeal which was resolved today in California concerning PC1203.4a, allowing for expungement of various crimes. The benefit of obtaining an expungement is to allow the defendant to be released from numerous disabilities, which typically include not disclosing the conviction on employment applications, however must disclose if submitting a state application for employment. Another benefit it rewards the person with the right to vote, and by ultimately being allowed to answer truthfully he has not been convicted of that crime.
Another option for people convicted of a felony is to first request the court grant a PC17(B) motion to make the felony into a misdemeanor for all purposes. Once that is accomplished, the defendant may now seek to expunge the charge since a felony cannot be expunged without first having it reduced.
In this instance, People v. Khamvongsa, Defendant appealed the denial of her petition for dismissal of two misdemeanor convictions under Penal Code section 1203.4a. The court reversed and remanded, concluding that the fact that defendant served a prison term for a conviction that has been reclassified as a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 47 does not disqualify her from relief under section 1203.4a, subdivision (a). The court explained that whatever sentence defendant
had served for such offense was irrelevant under section 1203.4a, and the trial court erred in denying defendant’s petition for dismissal.