Post-Conviction Relief— Penal Code § 1203.4

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If you have already been convicted of a crime, the attorneys at Moaddel Law Firm can assist you with cleaning up your record. Our legal team is aggressive and highly-experienced when it comes to practicing criminal law. Cleaning up your record can help with obtaining employment, housing, immigration, and government benefits.

Depending on your situation, there are several types of post-conviction relief available.

Post-conviction relief may be available if:

  • Your attorney provided ineffective assistance
  • You were not advised of your constitutional rights or the consequences of your plea
  • The offense you were convicted of can be reduced to a misdemeanor
  • You never were in prison and have successfully completed probation
  • You were convicted of a marijuana offense

What is expungement?

California Penal Code § 1203.4 can “expunge” your conviction, which will release you from “all penalties and disabilities” from the conviction as soon as you have completed probation. However, the conviction will continue to have immigration consequences. Expungement will also not restore your right to own firearms or overturn a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Lastly, an expunged conviction can still be used as a prior conviction to increase your sentence in a later case.

Expungement is available if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and never served time in state prison, successfully completed probation, and are not currently charged with a crime or serving a sentence (including probation) for a criminal offense.

Even if you violated your probation, you are still eligible for expungement. A seasoned Los Angeles expungement attorney can argue for expungement, despite a probation violation, based on your overall performance on probation, the seriousness of the crime you were convicted of, your criminal history, and any other mitigation evidence, such as your employment opportunities, your family connections, and your community involvement.

If you were convicted of a serious sex offense,[1] you are not eligible for § 1203.4 relief.

Withdrawing a Plea

Under Penal Code § 1018, you may be able to withdraw a plea of guilty or no contest, and substitute a plea of not guilty. Your attorney must convince the judge that there is good cause for the withdrawal, and you must file your motion no later than six months after probation is granted.

Motion to Vacate

There are numerous grounds to vacate a conviction. Our attorneys can review the records from your case to determine whether you are eligible for a motion to vacate. You may be eligible if the judge never advised you of the immigration consequences of a guilty or no contest plea.

Based on a new law, Penal Code § 1473.7, you may be eligible to vacate your conviction if your conviction has led to adverse immigration consequences and there was a prejudicial error in your case or you have evidence of innocence. Your attorney can review the record to determine whether a prejudicial error occurred, and can investigate whether there is any evidence of your innocence that wasn’t previously discovered.


If you were convicted of a felony, you may be able to have your offense reduced to a misdemeanor. There are a variety of ways your attorney can reduce your offense.

  • Penal Code § 17(b) allows a felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor if no prison time was served.
  • Proposition 47 reduced certain felonies, such as simple drug possession, shoplifting, and petty theft, to misdemeanor. If you are still incarcerated, Proposition 47 can be used to reduce your sentence.
  • Proposition 64 legalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana and reduced the penalties for other marijuana related offenses.

If you have been convicted of a crime, contact Moaddel Law Firm for a post-conviction investigation into your options for cleaning your record. Many of these remedies are time sensitive so contact our office today at (877) 375-8188.

[1] E.g. Penal Code § 286(c), Penal Code § 288, Penal Code § 288a(c), and Penal Code § 261.5(d).

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