Most employment and licensing lawyers are aware that criminal convictions cause problems with state licensing agencies and other efforts to gain employment. Expunged convictions show up on rap sheets, and agencies have the authority to require convictions be disclosed.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to help individuals take steps to clean up criminal records – sometimes to the point where old convictions may no longer exist and reports to law enforcement are expunged.
Under certain circumstances people with prior felony charges may be entitled to a finding of factual innocence. Courts rarely grant findings of factual innocence; Kresta Daly is one of few Sacramento criminal defense attorneys who has had a finding of factual innocence granted. When courts grant a finding of factual innocence law enforcement and court records are ordered sealed and three years later the files are ordered destroyed. A former defendant can legally say they were never accused of a crime – the records are ordered wiped clean.
Another option for people with old felony convictions is to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation. Any person with any kind of prior felony is entitled to apply for the certificate. If a court grants the certificate of rehabilitation it is forwarded onto the governor’s desk for a full pardon. Even if the governor doesn’t grant the pardon merely having the certificate sometimes is enough for licensing agencies. Some years ago a client of Ms. Daly’s, a person who had spent many years in prison, won a certificate of rehabilitation. The governor didn’t sign the pardon but the California State Bar issued the client a license.
More common remedies, such as reducing certain felonies to a misdemeanor post-conviction, or expungements, are often helpful for clients seeking to keep or maintain professional licenses. While reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor or an expungement still requires an individual to disclose a conviction on a license application, such remedial actions are beneficial because they have a direct bearing on the degree of the penalty imposed and can be powerful mitigation evidence.
In addition to statutory remedies to help licensees and applicants with criminal convictions or arrests, experienced criminal defense lawyer Kresta Daly is an expert at developing a mitigation plan and presenting the evidence to a licensing board or other authorities in a compelling and persuasive manner.
If you have a client who could benefit from Ms. Daly’s advice, or if you have client facing a criminal investigation or prosecution, please contact Kresta Daly.