Many convicted felons know all too well that having a criminal record makes life hard. Employers will deny felons jobs, felons will have a tough time finding a landlord to rent to them and creditors and banks will deny felons credit and loans. In some cases, however, felons can have their criminal convictions removed. This legal process is known as an expungement. People who have felonies expunged can go through life as if the convictions never occurred.
Visit your county's adult probation department or public defenders office. Each state may have different expungement procedures, so it is important to find out what is required. Some states may not allow felony convictions to be expunged at all.
Get a copy of your criminal records information. In order to fill out your petition, you may be required to know many details of your crime. Common details may include your case number, date of conviction, the verdict or plea, fines or prison time and probation. You can usually get a copy of your criminal record by visiting the Superior Court where you were convicted.
Determine whether you are eligible for an expungement. All states have different requirements for the expungement of felony convictions. In California, you are eligible to remove a felony from your record as long as (1) you never served in a state prison, (2) you were not an adult convicted of having sex with a minor under the age of 16, (3) you were not convicted of sodomy and (4) you were not convicted of child molestation.
Complete and submit the petition form in the county you were convicted in. You may be able to call the clerk of the Superior Court and request the petition forms be sent to you. You should also ask whether you need additional copies of the petition, whether the petition needs to be served to the district attorney and/or probation department, and whether you can file by mail. Make sure to include any supporting documents, such as letters of support, your written statement stating why you should have your felony removed and any papers documenting recent accomplishments.
Wait to receive a decision from the judge. If your petition is denied, you may be able to re-file. You should go down to Superior Court and find out why your petition was denied and see whether you can fix the problem.