Can you get your California criminal record expunged while living outside of the country? 6 Answers as of April 29, 2011

I would like to know how much it would be to get a friends record expunged, here are the details, He was arrested for assault on a family member in 2008. He was a J-1 visa student here and the police department that arrested him handed him over to the Border Patrol and was told to go back to his country. The police department that handled his case dropped charges as did the victim. But when we ran an FBI background check on him it was on his record that he was arrested for assault on a family member. This is what we want to get taken off his record, I do not think it will be too hard, the only problem is that he is a Polish citizen and does not come to the US at all. He can send his fingerprints here for court purposes. Can you tell me how much this expungment will cost?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Expungement do not apply to arrests only and they cannot be expunged. There are other remedies that are more difficult including a petition for factual innocence; however, the fact of an arrest cannot be erased.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Only convictions can be expunged, not arrest records.

It is sometimes possible to obtain a court order for the removal and destruction of an arrest record in the interests of justice and for good cause that did not result in charges being filed or pursued. That court order applies to the arresting agency and the court, but is not necessarily honored by the federal DOJ database. There is no guarantee they will correct the records just because you got a local court order.

If you are serious about doing this attempt, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need. He would be able to do it through counsel without personally appearing, although he would have to sign and get notarized documents for filing with the court. He can expect this to cost several thousand dollars in legal fees and court filing fees.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/22/2010
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
That is a very complex question. Depending on whether it is a felony or misdemeanor can have a huge difference in his case.

Generally when all charges are dropped, expungement is not the answer to your question. You want to erase the arrest and a "factual finding of innocence". Seek the advice of an immigration attorney that handles criminal cases. You want a good attorney that knows the local judges and prosecutors.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/21/2010
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
Your question requires more information to answer. If no charges were filed, you cannot use an expungement, pursuant to California Penal Code section 1203.4. You might be able to file for a 'finding of factual innocence', pursuant to California Penal Code section 851.8. The ruling, if favorable, can be abstracted to the Department of Justice. Your friend generally does not have to be in the Country for these actions.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/21/2010
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Whoa. If his criminal record only shows arrest and not conviction he can tell anyone that he was never convicted of anything. If he was convicted you could get it expunged BUT expungement is not worth anything. All it does is add another one to the arrest line which says, on such and such a date the conviction was expunged (if he were convicted). Save your money. I cannot imagine you can expunge an arrest. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/21/2010
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is possible to get an arrest record expunged, but time is of the essence. Call me to discuss further so I can get into more detail about helping your friend, then give you an accurate quote on how much I would charge as there are several steps to this process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/21/2010
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