Sun. May 26th, 2024

What Is OC’s New Leaf Program?

Getting Your Life Back After You or Them Fucked It Up!

Even after you have served time for a criminal charge, you may still pay for those crimes for years to come. Employers, housing managers, and other businesses can run background checks on you to determine if you committed a crime. If they do dig into your criminal record, they may decide that you are too dangerous to employ or be allowed to apply for housing without even getting your side to the story.

But you do have the option of expunging a crime from your record and protecting your right to privacy. In Orange County, an experienced attorney at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti can provide the legal guidance you need to get your case clear. We may even be able to help you with Orange County’s New Leaf Program.

How to Expunge a Crime

After you have been released from jail or prison, you may face difficulties trying to apply for a house or job. Most applications ask whether or not you have been charged with a criminal offense, and you are required to honestly answer this question. Many employers may automatically reject your application based solely on this question without ever speaking to you or digging into the specifics of your case.

However, under California law, you are able to have your charges expunged from your criminal record. This means, when you go in to apply for a job, you can honestly and legally say that you have never been convicted of a crime. To do this in Orange County, you must go through a legal process with the local court, which will determine whether or not your charges can be expunged.

In most cases, if you were charged with a misdemeanor and have completed probation – or have successfully ended probation early – you are eligible to have your charges expunged. However, if you are charged with a felony and are on parole, you will have to wait until after you have completed parole to begin the process. Not all felonies can be completely expunged, but you may be able to have a charge reduced to a misdemeanor if you did not serve time in a state prison or request a governor’s pardon. You should speak to an attorney about your criminal record to determine what charges can be expunged.

If you are eligible for an expungement, you can file a petition for dismissal with the OC court to begin the process. The court will then reopen your case to discuss the charges against you and your sentencing. At this point, your attorney can argue that you have fully served your sentence and should be granted an expungement. If granted, the court will change your criminal record to show that your conviction was dismissed.

Expungements are also an option for adults who were convicted of a juvenile crime after they turn 18 years old.

How the New Leaf Program Can Help You?

As part of the Orange County expungement process, you may also be eligible for the New Leaf Program. This is a series of programs offered through the Orange County Public Defender’s Office that allow you to:

  • Seal an arrest record
  • Seal juvenile records
  • Terminate your probation early
  • Reduce a felony to a misdemeanor
  • Dismiss a charge or conviction
  • Request rehabilitation instead of imprisonment
  • Request a state governor’s pardon

This program is extremely thorough and can provide additional relief when compared to a typical expungement. These services are available to individuals who were charged with certain misdemeanors and felonies, as well as juvenile defendants, and veterans who were charged with a crime due to a mental health disorder related to their military service.

What options are available to you can be hard to determine, however. In general, the court process is complicated, and you should not hesitate to discuss your case with an OC criminal defense lawyer. source


New Leaf Program

The Orange County Public Defender “New Leaf Program” assists those who are seeking a fresh start and improved opportunities for employment, professional licensing or consumer credit.

If you’ve been convicted of a crime you may be eligible for relief through a relatively simple legal process. Some convictions can be modified on your record so that when you apply for most jobs, you can legally indicate that you were not convicted of that crime. Other convictions may be reduced from felony to misdemeanor status in certain situations. Also, Orange County residents who have completed a term in prison may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation. In addition, if you are a Veteran who acquired a criminal record due to a mental health disorder stemming from service in the United States military and you have successfully participated in court-ordered treatment and services to address the sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems stemming from military service you may qualify for early termination of probation and ultimately a dismissal of the charges.

A paralegal is available at the Orange County Public Defender’s Main Office located at 801 Civic Center Drive West, Suite 400 in Santa Ana to assist you in getting the process started. You can obtain the documents necessary to begin the process by clicking on the buttons on this page for the type of relief you are seeking. Download the application packets, fill them out as completely as possible, including the financial statement. Gather additional needed documentation such as letters of reference and certificates. You may mail or bring the completed packets into the Main Office. You may also request a packet be mailed to you by making a request by email or by calling (657) 251-6090 or toll free (866) 634-6224 during regular business hours If you were represented by the Alternate Public Defender, you may contact the New Leaf Paralegal at Alternate Defenders: (657) 251-6730.

We offer the following “New Leaf” services:

  • Sealing Arrest Records
  • Sealing Juvenile Records
  • Early Probation Termination
  • Felony Reduction
  • Dismissals
  • Rehab and Pardon
  • Live Scan
  • Modification of Sentence from 365 Days to 364 Days

 


Cleaning Up Your Record

Penal Code 851.8 PCCertificate of Factual Innocence in California

SB 393: The Consumer Arrest Record Equity Act – 851.87-851.92  & 1000.4-11105 – CARE ACT

Expungement California – How to Clear Criminal Records Under Penal Code 1203.4 PC

Cleaning Up Your Criminal Record in California (focus OC County)

Governor Pardons Click Here for the Details

How to Get a Sentence Commuted (Executive Clemency) in California

How to Reduce a Felony to a Misdemeanor – Penal Code 17b PC Motion


YOUR CASE RELIEF DESIRED PROCEDURE
You were arrested but charges were never filed Record of arrest sealed and destroyed File a petition for 851.8 Finding of factual innocence
You were convicted of a misdemeanor and are still on probation Request early termination of Probation and file petition to have the conviction dismissed File a 1203.3 petition to have probation terminated early and a 1203.4 petition for a dismissal.
1203.3 Form
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Cost
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
You were convicted of a misdemeanor and have successfully completed probation File a petition to have the conviction dismissed File a 1203.4 petition for dismissal.
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
You were convicted of a misdemeanor but were not placed on probation File a petition to have the conviction dismissed File a 1203.4a petition for dismissal.
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
You were convicted of a felony “wobbler” and are still on probation Request early release from probation and file a petition to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed File a 1203.3 to have probation terminate early. File a 17b to get felony reduced to a misdemeanor and file a 1203.4 petition for a dismissal.
1203.3 Form
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Courts Fees and Costs
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
You were convicted of a felony and have completed your probation and/or county jail sentence File a petition to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed File petition to have felony reduced and dismissed.
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
You were convicted of a felony, were not given probation and were sentenced to county jail File a petition to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor and dismissed File a 17b petition and get the felony reduced and a 1203.4 petition for a dismissal.
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
You were convicted of a felony in any county in California and were sentenced to state prison and you have lived in Orange County for the past five years File a petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation & Pardon File of 4852.01 petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon File a 17b petition and get the felony reduced and a 1203.4 petition for a dismissal.
Certificate of Rehabilitation
1203.4 Dismissal Form
1203.4 Order Form
DOJ Live Scan Application Form
Your conviction is showing up in background checks but you do not have the case number or court location information any longer to aid in seeking relief Obtain information to aid in locating court case and seeking relief Apply for a “Live Scan” to obtain a copy of your Dept. of Justice “rap sheet” showing your arrest and convictions.
You were convicted of a misdemeanor prior to 01-01-2015 and were sentenced to serve 365 days in county jail You want to modify your sentence to 364 days File a petition for modification of sentence (Form No. L-364).
You were convicted of a felony, were not given probation and were sentenced to serve your state prison sentence in county jail under section 1170(h) To dismiss my charges and seek expungement under section 1203.42 File petition to have your felony reduced and dismissed as described in section 1203.42.
1203.42 Dismissal Form
1203.42 Order Form
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs
You suffered an arrest that did not result in a conviction. To seal your arrest and related records. File petition to have your arrest and related records sealed as described in section 851.92.
Sealing Arrest Records Application
New Leaf Application
Financial Statement Form
Waiver of Court Fees and Costs