Question: “I received two misdemeanors for shoplifting in 1969 and 1977. The judge mentioned after probation, he would seal and expunge my records. I do not wish to reveal this information on a citizenship application, when asked about moral character. Please advise.”
Answer: It’s unlikely, though, not impossible that your convictions would have been expunged on a judge’s own motion. However, and you’ll want to confirm this with an immigration attorney, generally speaking, expungements do not result in the same benefits to a non citizen. There are a host of other possible remedies to non-citizens who are seeking to clear records. For further information, contact an immigration attorney to confirm whether, despite the convictions possibly being expunged in the past, they still must be disclosed.
Question: “I know that I have warrants from 13 years ago, but I don’t know what they ar all for. How can I find out what I am up against when I go into court? I want to turn myself in. I can’t afford a lawyer, so I will be representing myself.”
Answer: If at all possible, avoid representing yourself. You may have remedies available to you. If your only objective is finding what the warrants are for, I’d still suggest that you contact an attorney who provides a free consultation, as we do have the means of discovering the information that you seek; and furthermore, can discuss which remedies, if any, could be available to you.
Question: ”I was arrested for California health and safety code 11550. The court date has passed and I have not been charged. What happens now?”
Answer: Were you present in court on the scheduled date? If so, what were you told? The case may have been rejected by the district attorney’s office, or there may have been a delay in filing. There are statues of limitation within which the prosecutor’s office must file a case against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate further and contact the proper people and offices on your behalf to determine that likelihood of a future filing or, in the alternative, determine whether a case has already been filed against you following the originally scheduled arraignment date.