Expungement Under California Penal Code Section 1203.4

Under Penal Code section 1203.4, a convicted defendant "may be reinstated as a law-abiding member of society" if he or she complies with the requirements of his or her probation and he or she is not currently serving a sentence or on probation for any other offense or charged with the commission of any other offense. (People v. Chandler (1988) 203 Cal. App. 3d 782, 788, 250 Cal. Rptr. 730; See also People v. Johnson (1955) 134 Cal. App. 2d 140, 143, 285 P.2d 74 [statute holds out "removal of the blemish of a criminal record"].) Penal Code Section 1203.4, subdivision (a) reads in pertinent part: "In any case in which a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of probation . . . the defendant shall, at any time after the termination of the period of probation, . . . be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty . . . and enter a plea of not guilty; . . . and, . . . the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted . . . ." "This subdivision shall apply to all applications for relief under this section which are filed on or after November 23, 1970." Subdivision (b) of section 1203.4 provides: "Subdivision (a) of this section does not apply to any misdemeanor which is within the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 42001 of the Vehicle Code, to any violation of subdivision (c) of Section 286, Section 288, subdivision (c) of Section 288a, Section 288.5, or subdivision (j) of Section 289, or to any infraction." (Underscoring added.) The above underscored language of section 1203.4, subdivision (b), was added by the Legislature in 1997 (Stats. 1997, ch. 61 1, p. 293 (Assem. Bill No. 729) and became effective January 1, 1998. In People v. Henderson (1980) 107 Cal. App. 3d 475, 488, 166 Cal. Rptr. 20, the Court of Appeal observed: "Under the California Constitution, a statute enacted at a regular session of the Legislature generally becomes effective on January 1 of the year following its enactment except where the statute is passed as an urgency measure and becomes effective sooner. In the usual situation, the 'effective' and 'operative' dates are one and the same, and with regard to ex post facto restrictions, a statute has no force and effect until such effective-operative date."