Legislation recently signed into law by Governor Newsom will make certain previously convicted individuals automatically eligible for the dismissal of their conviction when four years have passed since the completion of their sentence. This new law makes many Penal Code section 1203.4 petitions for expungement automatic rather than requiring filing a petition in court.
Not all convictions will be eligible, but many will. There will be no requirement to file any petition or motion for the relief. Rather, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) is tasked by this legislation to review statewide records on a monthly basis to identify those individuals who are eligible for this relief. To be eligible the individual must not have been convicted of another felony within the four year period following completion of sentence.
Persons not eligible for this relief include those who are required to register as sex offenders, persons on active probation or supervised release, those with pending criminal charges, those for whom the conviction was for a serious felony (as defined in Penal Code Section 1192.7, subdivision (c), or a violent felony defined in Penal Code Section 667.5. Serious and violent felonies not eligible include murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, mayhem, rape, forced sex crimes, sex crimes against children, arson, robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping among other crimes (refer to the above-referenced penal code sections for an exhaustive list).