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Criminal Courts Bar Association


Knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney Helping Clients in Los Angeles Break Free from the Burdens of a Criminal Conviction

Those who are convicted of a crime often face consequences that last far beyond the sentence they receive. Whether it’s immigration, employment or social consequences, for some, the punishment that comes along with a conviction is less concerning than the lifetime of limitations they face. An expungement gives individuals with a criminal record a fresh start. However, there are also other post-conviction remedies that can have the same effect. Attorney Melanie Killedjian with the Killedjian Law Corporation has more than 20 years of experience helping her clients wipe their records clean so they can move on with their lives without the burdens of a criminal conviction. As a respected Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for more than 20 years, she’s developed positive relationships with prosecutors and judges, giving her the unique ability to persuasively advocate on behalf of her clients where other attorneys fail.

What Is an Expungement?

 An expungement is a legal mechanism that allows someone who has previously been convicted of a crime to “be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which they have been convicted.” While there are many potential benefits of obtaining an expungement, one of the most important is that, after your record is expunged, you do not need to disclose the conviction to a potential employer.

Who Is Eligible for a California Expungement?

For decades, California Penal Code § 1203.4 permitted anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to file for an expungement if:

  1. You successfully completed a sentence of probation; and
  2. You did not serve time in state prison.

However, under the recently passed SB 731, the California Legislature opened up the possibility of expungement for many individuals who previously couldn’t qualify. More specifically, SB 731 permits anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to obtain an expungement as long as their conviction did not require they register as a sex offender. This effectively eliminates the prior prohibition for those who served their sentence in state prison. SB 731 also permits those who did not successfully complete probation to obtain an expungement. What’s more, the expungement process under SB 731 is supposed to be automatic, meaning you shouldn’t need to file anything in court to have your record expunged.

Limitations of an Expungement

While an expungement eliminates virtually all the “penalties and disabilities” stemming from a conviction, there are a few things that expungements won’t do. Primarily, an expungement won’t reverse the effect of certain collateral (non-criminal) consequences of your conviction, such as:

Additionally, courts can still use an expunged conviction to enhance your sentence if you are subsequently arrested. Further, even an expunged conviction can be used by immigration authorities to deny naturalization or to initiate deportation proceedings. For example, an expunged violent crime that classifies as a strike will still be considered a strike prior if you are arrested in the future.

Alternatives to an Expungement

Historically, California had some of the harshest criminal laws in the country. However, over the past decade, the general consensus is that this was an overreaction, and more recently, California lawmakers have been on the cutting edge of criminal justice reform. Thus, there are now procedural mechanisms that allow you to petition the court to set aside a guilty verdict and dismiss the case. While there are limitations to expungements, such as in the immigration context, those same limitations may not apply to other forms of post-conviction relief.

Of course, in practice, judges give a lot of deference to district attorneys’ positions. Thus, one alternative to an expungement is to obtain the district attorney’s agreement that dismissal is appropriate.

In many cases, Attorney Melanie Killedjian has successfully obtained the district attorney’s recommendation for dismissal. She works closely with her clients to create a compelling narrative, explaining why it is in the interests of justice to allow her clients to be free from the burdens of a conviction.

If You Are Looking for a Fresh Start, Reach Out to the Killedjian Law Corporation to Learn More About Your Expungement Options

A criminal conviction from years ago does not reflect who you are today. Yet, it continues to impact your life. It is important to know that you have options. At the Killedjian Law Corporation, we proudly help individuals who have changed their lives since their conviction and are looking for a clean slate. Whether it is pursuing an expungement or one of the many alternatives, Melanie Killedjian can help you make a case as to why your record should be wiped clean. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Melanie Killedjian at the Killedjian Law Corporation, call (818) 986-0888 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Client Reviews
I was referred to Melanie by a good friend of mine with whom she assisted in the past. This friend gave me nothing but glowing reviews of her and somehow, still managed to undersell how great Melanie is. From the day I made my first call to her, to the first time meeting her face to face (which was the very next day, so I'll add she's very accessible and prompt), until the very end she made it seemingly effortless on my part. She handled everything from beginning to end. Her professionalism was very assuring, and put my worries to rest. I went in her office feeling defeated and overwhelmed, fast forward to my final hearing and I left feeling victorious and overjoyed. Melanie, thank you for all your help! The services rendered and the peace of mind she gave me cannot be matched! Louie G.
I cannot say how grateful my family and I are to ms. Killedjian. The case she took on was very complex and multilayered. I fired two top lawyers before trusting Ms. Killedjian with my future. She remained confident and worked diligently for almost two years. She never changed or added to her fee. She worked with my immigration attorney to make sure I would not face immigration consequences. Ms. Killedjian law expertise and belief in her client got my case dismissed. We are so thankful to Ms. Killedjian and will forever remember how hard she fought for justice!! V.Y.
I just want to say that Melanie came HIGHLY recommended to me and she was the BEST decision I made for my criminal case. Melanie was so helpful, informative, straight forward, kind and always did everything she said she was going to do. She always responded to me contacting her and she always used the word "we" when communicating, as if "we" were in this thing together! I am so grateful for her professionalism and her approach. She was able to get my original severe charges dropped and i was given a minor charge because of how she presented the facts and evidence at hand. Shes amazing! So, if you're reading this and need not just a good attorney but a GREAT one, contact her! You will not regret it! Thank you Melanie for everything you did and continue to do! You're a life saver! Stacey S.
Melanie is amazing! She was able to help me with two felony charges in two different court systems simultaneously with results that far exceeded my expectations of what I thought was even possible. She refused to settle for anything less than the best possible outcome and has given me my complete freedom back. It honestly seems like she was able to work magic! There is no doubt that she knows what she is doing and knows how to get results. I was very selective in choosing a lawyer and she was definitely the right choice. She is kind, caring, compassionate, understanding, positive and supportive in every way. It has truly been a pleasure working with her and her delightful assistant, Elen. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of an exceptional defense attorney. Bradley S.