ADA
Record Clearance

Many criminal and infraction convictions can be “cleared” from your record. This means you can sometimes ask the court to take a conviction off your record.

You can do this if you:

  • have finished your probation,
  • followed all court orders, and
  • do not have any new charges against you. (PC 1203.4 )

Or, if you were not placed on probation, you can clear your record if:

  • one year has passed since your judgment,
  • you have obeyed all laws, and
  • you do not have any new charges against you. (PC 1203.4(a) )

Some convictions can never be cleared, such as most sex-related crimes.

Other convictions that are not eligible: any misdemeanor violation falling within the provision of Section 42002.1 of the Vehicle Code , any infraction falling within the provisions of Section 42001 of the Vehicle Code , any local ordinance adopted pursuant to the Vehicle Code, any misdemeanor violation of subdivision (c) of Penal Code Section 288 , or Penal Code Sections 286(c), 288, 288(a), 288.5, or 289(j) .

To clear your record, you must file a Record Clearance Application. Read the Santa Clara County Probation Department's page on record clearance . On that page you will find the county's Adult Record Clearance Application.

This application asks the court to “take back” your original guilty or nolo contendere plea. Or, if you had a trial, it asks the court to set aside the guilty verdict or finding.

If the court grants your request for a record clearance, the original charges will be dismissed.

Remember: Even if you clear your record…

  • A "cleared" conviction can still count against you as a “prior” if you have another case later.
  • A "cleared" conviction can still count as a “prior” if the court is considering revoking or suspending your driver’s license.
  • If any government agency asks you directly about your prior convictions, you must tell them about this "cleared" conviction.
  • You must still follow Penal Code section 12021  about not owning or possessing a weapon.
© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara