Santa Barbara criminal defense lawyer Bill Makler

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Clearing Your Record

There are a variety of ways through which you MAY be able to reduce the negative effects of many criminal convictions and juvenile adjudications.  Among them are the remedy commonly referred to as expungement.  Other remedies include the reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, plea withdrawal, pardons, and the sealing of a juvenile record.  They each function differently and may or may not apply to the conviction or adjudication at hand, depending on timing and many other factors.  Moreover, it is important to recognize that none of these remedies function like a "time machine" to enable you to go back in history and undo something which, fundamentally, cannot be undone.  However, they can, in some circumstances, allow you to move ahead with your life (and career plans) without being unduly dragged down by one or more past events.  To find out more about what, if any, of these remedies you may be eligible for, you may contact us for a free initial consultation.  However, we require that the conviction(s)/adjudication(s) you are seeking to remedy took place in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.  If you were never convicted of the crime for which you were arrested, or had the conviction set aside post-conviction, be sure to ask an attorney about your eligibility for the "Cadillac" of all reputational remedies: a finding of factual innocence.  This remedy can even cause the expungement of a booking record.  It may,  however, be a good idea to take a look at what actually shows up on your record before consulting a lawyer about how to remove or modify a conviction or booking record.

Certificate of Detention Only

In cases where an arrest occurred and the authorities decline to pursue any charges, the event is thereafter considered a "detention"; not an "arrest". Detentions are not as damaging to a person's reputation as are arrests. Consider that a detention occurs every time a police officer pulls someone over to issue them a traffic ticket. An arrest implies, very powefully, that the individual arrested did something serious enough to be handcuffed and taken to jail. What's worse is that questions such as, "have you ever been arrested?" will be asked down the line (properly or not). If you were fortunate enough to have had your case rejected for prosecution, either by the arresting agency or the local prosecutor's office, you need to be aware of this key legal distinction in how the event should be described. More than that, they are legally entitled to a "Certificate of Detention Only" and the event should be removed as an arrest from their record by the California Department of Justice and all other law enforcement records.

If you have been recently arrested, and charges have not yet been filed, contact us right away to find out what might be done to prevent the filing of criminal charges. If you were arrested but charges were not filed, yet a Certificate of Detention Only from law enforcement was never given to you, contact us right away. For a free and confidential consultation with Mr. Makler, complete the contact form at right.

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