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California Expungement » California Infraction Expungement

In 2011, a new law came into effect that makes it possible for California residents to expunge an infraction from their criminal history, enabling them to truly present a clean slate to prospective employers.

Most infractions that are not related to traffic violations can now be expunged from your criminal record and background checks. These include offenses such as drug possession, petty theft, disturbing the peace, and more.

California infraction expungement can clear your name and help your chances of find a job, looking for housing, and even applying for credit cards and mortgage loans. provides a free online eligibility test where you can easily check if you qualify for this service.

California Infraction Expungement Benefits

Trust and reliability are among the key attributes employers seek in their job applicants. Detailed criminal background checks have become their key tools to screen and eliminate the many applicants vying for that one coveted opening. It is becoming increasingly important to be aware of what appears on your criminal record and if possible, take the necessary steps to clean it up.

Infractions are not limited to simple traffic violations.
There are several other minor crimes that are classified as infractions that would put you in a bad light on a background check:
  • Petty theft
  • Marijuana Possession
  • Disturbing the Peace
  • Trespassing
  • Fraud
  • Illegal Purchase of Alcohol
  • Failure to Appear In Court

By getting your record expunged, all details of any past infractions will be deleted from your record. You will be able to confidently answer that you were never convicted of any offense and your record will back you up.

California Infraction Expungement Requirements

To be eligible for infraction expungement you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 1 year must have passed from the date of conviction.
  • You must have fulfilled all requirements of your probation and have paid all restitution and court fees related to the case.
  • You must not be currently serving a sentence for any other conviction.

Other terms and conditions may apply. Take a free online eligibility test at to confirm your eligibility.

California Infraction Expungement Law

The Philosophy

In 1977, a landmark case of Newland v. Board of Governors introduced the argument it was a denial of equal protection to allow 1203.4 relief, or the capability for expungement, for a felony, and not for the same offense as a misdemeanor.

Under a similar philosophy, in 2011 it has become possible for California residents to expunge an infraction from their background history, enabling them to truly present a clean slate to prospective employers. Minor offenses such as marijuana possession which can evoke strong and negative sentiments in many potential employers, can now get erased from your criminal background check, allowing interviewers to focus their attention on your credentials and qualifications.

The Law

§ 1203.4a. Misdemeanor or infraction sentence served; dismissal of charge; release from penalties and disabilities; exceptions; subsequent offenses; reimbursement of city and county; notice to prosecuting attorney

(a) Every defendant convicted of a misdemeanor and not granted probation, and every defendant convicted of an infraction, shall, at any time after the lapse of one year from the date of pronouncement of judgment, if he or she has fully complied with and performed the sentence of the court, is not then serving a sentence for any offense and is not under charge of commission of any crime and has, since the pronouncement of judgment, lived an honest and upright life and has conformed to and obeyed the laws of the land, be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and in either case the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusatory pleading against the defendant, who shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided in Section 12021.1 of this code or Section 13555 of the Vehicle Code. The defendant shall be informed of the provisions of this section, either orally or in writing, at the time he or she is sentenced. The defendant may make an application and change of plea in person or by attorney, or by the probation officer authorized in writing; provided, that in any subsequent prosecution of the defendant for any other offense, the prior conviction may be pleaded and proved and shall have the same effect as if relief had not been granted pursuant to this section.

This subdivision applies to convictions which occurred before, as well as those occurring after, the effective date of this section.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any misdemeanor falling within the provisions of Section 42002.1 of the Vehicle Code, or to any infraction falling within the provisions of Section 42001 of the Vehicle Code.

(c) A person who petitions for a dismissal of a charge under this section may be required to reimburse the county and the court for the cost of services rendered at a rate to be determined by the county board of supervisors for the county and by the court for the court, not to exceed sixty dollars ($60), and to reimburse any city for the cost of services rendered at a rate to be determined by the city council not to exceed sixty dollars ($60). Ability to make this reimbursement shall be determined by the court using the standards set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 987.8 and shall not be a prerequisite to a person’s eligibility under this section. The court may order reimbursement in any case in which the petitioner appears to have the ability to pay, without undue hardship, all or any portion of the cost for services established pursuant to this subdivision.

(d) A petition for dismissal of an infraction pursuant to this section shall be by written declaration, except upon a showing of compelling need. Dismissal of an infraction shall not be granted under this section unless the prosecuting attorney has been given at least 15 days’ notice of the petition for dismissal. It shall be presumed that the prosecuting attorney has received notice if proof of service is filed with the court.

(e) Any determination of amount made by a court under this section shall be valid only if either (1) made under procedures adopted by the Judicial Council or (2) approved by the Judicial Council.

Whats on your record?

The first step to removing your criminal record is to find out what, if anything, is showing up on your criminal background. If you are unsure of what exactly is holding you back from jobs or any of lives other opportunities we highly recommend visiting our partner,, where you can get a full national criminal history background check for a super low price.

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