Los Angeles Name Change Criminal History is part of getting a Name Change in Los Angeles County. A Confidential Criminal History Assessment Form is required for almost all Petitions. That Form triggers a report from the Probation Department to your judge. Any unresolved criminal history will likely be a factor in your judge’s decision. Judges don’t grant Petitions that attempt to defraud, harm or confuse others. Name Change laws (see Cal. CCP §1275-1279.5) are set up to let law abiding Name Change Petitioners get approved. The exception would be when someone comes forward and convinces a judge that approval would be a bad thing. Approvals are customary. Denials are rare.
A Registered Sex-Offender, a Prisoner, or someone on Parole is not likely to be approved. People in those categories would likely get denied. A Probation Department official would need to come forward on the Petitioner’s behalf, for that kind of approval. For registered sex offenders, even that might not do it.
You are expected to “pay” for a crime, if convicted. Legal Name Change could be used as a means for dangerous deception by some people. So, California’s Name Change Laws place restrictions on people who haven’t fully satisfied the terms of their sentences. These same laws instruct judges and corrections personnel as to how and who they may process and decide.
Los Angeles Name Change Criminal History Checks
CCP Section 1279.5 deals exclusively with Name Change Petitions of certain convicted criminals. Specifically, CCP 1279.5 is about Registered Sex-Offenders, Prisoners, or Parolees. It means you won’t be able to “slip” through the Legal Name Change process. If you have unresolved criminal history (time, parole, probation, restitution, etc.), you should probably get those things taken care of before seeking a legal name change.
UPDATE: Effective 9-1-18
CCP 1279.5 has been substantially amended. Previously, you needed to have your corrections officer’s prior written approval to seek a legal name change, if you had unresolved criminal obligations. Now, you may file a Petition and then must promptly provide a copy of it to your corrections officer. These changes primarily effect people who have been sentenced and are on parole or probation, and to some extent people who are still incarcerated. Restrictions for people required to register as sex offenders remain largely the same under the Amended CCP 1279.5.
Under the Amended CCP1279.5, the judge still has authority to approve or deny a proposed legal name change. A California judge’s will still be considering if the proposed name change may cause harm or damage to anyone or the general public.
Name Change Laws effect Petitioners in all 58 California Counties. The Court requires Petitioners to declare their criminal history status, under oath. And every parent or guardian must do the same for their child. Each judge will have state and federal law enforcement departments at their disposal to help check the applicant’s criminal records.
9 Counties have an extra Name Change Form, just to facilitate the judge’s Criminal History Assessment of the Applicant. Each County is free to add their own forms to California’s forms. So the extra forms vary greatly around the state. Los Angeles County, the largest of California’s Counties, uses LACIV 226. This Form is the confidential communication document between the judge and the County Probation Department. It asks for extra identifying information about the Applicant, such as Social Security Number, Driver’s License or ID Number, and Aliases. The purpose is to better help the Department check the Applicant through huge numbers of criminal records before reporting back to the judge.
Los Angeles Name Change Criminal History Will Spotlight Unresolved Issues
According to a Department Analyst, the Los Angeles County Probation Department developed the form with the California Courts, around 2003. In 2012, Pretrial Services processed hundreds of those Name Change Criminal History Assessment requests each month, on average. They did that by accessing automated systems and documenting the form for the judge’s review. The Department doesn’t keep track of how many of the forms return reportable criminal history data. The judge can get more information if needed. Expect a judge to have considered the Applicant’s criminal history as thoroughly as CCP §1279.5 demands before making a decision.
There are too many everyday places for bad people to hide out before taking advantage of good people. But, California Name Change isn’t such a place.
So, can you “hide” by Legally Changing Your Name in California? You can try. But, if you have unresolved criminal history, it won’t work. Because getting a Legal Name Change in California will be harder that winning the lottery. Registered Sex-Offenders, Prisoners, or current Parolees will likely be denied. Los Angeles Name Change Criminal History Makes a Difference.
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