Expungement Clinic

The figure of Lady Justice stands blindfolded, holding a scale and a sword.

The Napa County District Attorney’s Office is proud to announce the creation of the Expungement Clinic.  The primary purpose of the Expungement Clinic is to expedite the clearance of criminal records that are creating barriers to services, employment and housing.  If you were convicted of a crime in Napa County and meet certain requirements, you are entitled to have that crime expunged from your record. To help with this process, the Napa County District Attorney’s Office created a one-stop online portal to help you (1) determine whether you might be eligible for expungement and (2) if so, electronically fill out and submit the required forms. Upon receiving your petition, Probation, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Court will determine whether you are entitled to have the conviction expunged. Your application will be free of charge and all associated court costs will be paid for by the Napa County District Attorney’s Office.

What Expungement Is

A request to have a conviction expunged is in essence an application to “take back” your original guilty or nolo contendere plea. Or if you were convicted after trial, it asks the court to set aside the guilty verdict or finding. Once a conviction is expunged, on your official criminal record it will no longer say “convicted” next to the crime. Instead, it will say the crime was set aside and dismissed. This means that with some exceptions, when an employer asks if you have been convicted of a crime, you can answer you have not. Among other things, this can help with getting some professional licenses. 

What Expungement Is Not

Even if you have successfully gotten a conviction expunged, it does not mean the conviction is completely wiped out or without effect. An expunged conviction can still:

  • Be used as a prior or “strike” should you be charged with future crimes
  • Affect your driving privileges
  • Prohibit you from owning a firearm, ammunition or certain other weapons
  • Prohibit you from getting some state licenses

Although an expungement permits you to tell many employers you were not convicted of the crime, in some contexts you must still say you were convicted. This includes when dealing with immigration agencies, state or local licensing agencies (such as a nursing or guard license), state lottery contracts, or applications for public office.

Also, not all convictions are eligible for expungement. For example, most sex crimes are ineligible. 

For further information, please read this document, Eligibility and Admonitions. If you have any questions at all, please consult a private attorney or the Napa County Public Defender. The Public Defender’s phone number is (707) 253-4442.  

Instructions

  1. Read this document, Eligibility and Admonitions, closely. It provides important information on expungement eligibility and what the process can and cannot do for you. If you have any questions, consult an attorney.
  2. If you believe you meet all the eligibility criteria and do not have any questions, download and fill out the expungement application form CR-180. You will need to complete the form in Acrobat Reader in order to sign electronically. This form offers different ways to expunge different convictions. Read it closely and only fill out the parts that pertain to your conviction. Only use one form per conviction. If you want to expunge multiple convictions, submit a different form for each. Save the completed document on your computer. 
  3. Download and complete the top part of the proposed order for the judge, CR-181. Only fill in the top box with your identifying information, name, date of birth and case number. Save the completed document on your computer.
  4. Download and complete the top part of the form for Probation and the District Attorney’s Office, CR-131. Only fill in the top box with your name and case number. Save the completed document on your computer. 
  5. Once you complete and save these forms to your computer, you will need to email all three forms as attachments to [email protected]. Attach all three (3) of the completed forms you saved, and send the email.

    At this point, you don’t need to do anything more. Please wait 90 days to hear back on your petition. Once submitted, the forms cannot be changed or corrected. You will be notified whether your petition is granted or whether there will be a court hearing.

Forms and Documents