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San Francisco Public Defender's Office


Our first priority is a second chance.

We help people move forward in life by clearing their criminal records. Fill out an application and we'll do the rest.

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Our Services

Clean Slate is a program of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office that can help people “clean up” their criminal records. Expunging your record in California can significantly improve your life by relieving you of the burden of a criminal record during background checks for employment, housing, licensing, and other purposes. Expungement in California means your criminal arrest or conviction can be reduced, dismissed, sealed, vacated, or destroyed, depending on the case.  

This process opens doors to job opportunities, professional licenses, and housing that might otherwise be unavailable. Having a conviction expunged prevents most private employers from using it against you in hiring decisions. Even if you are applying for a job or a professional license that requires a more intense background check, it is better to be able to say that you have been to court and the judge expunged the case, rather than just having the conviction hanging out there and trying to explain it on your own. Even if you were only arrested but never convicted, some jobs may be able to see your arrest record. We can help you seal those arrests. Our goal is to make you feel confident about the job application process.  

Services are free for those who qualify.

How the Process Works? 

Watch this Clean Slate how-to video to learn how to apply and determine your eligibility for expunging your conviction records.  


Community Clinics

Find a clinic near you and let us
help you with your application.

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