HOW EXPUNGEMENT CAN HELP
- Keep government licenses such as real estate or teaching licenses from being revoked
Grant a restoration of gun rights Keep the expunged conviction from being considered a prior offense if you re – offend
LIMITS ON EXPUNGEMENT
- Paying all court ordered fines
- Completing probation
Waiting at least one year from the date of your conviction
- Not being sentenced to time in state prison
- Not being convicted of serious sexual offenses involving children or violent crimes like murder
Charges were never filed afte r you were arrested
- A diversion program was successfully completed
- The court dismissed your case
- A jury acquitted you
- You had a conviction overturned on appeal
Do expunged records show up on background checks?
Generally, expunged records will not appear on employment background checks. Once a person has completed the requirements for expungement, the event, arrest, or conviction record is erased.
If an employer conducts a standard criminal background check through commercial databases, it is possible that your previous conviction will not appear. If an employer demands that you submit fingerprints or provide a copy of your Department of Justice report, they may see what happened in your case, but the record will likely reflect that you were found innocent. If there was a previous conviction on your record, it will likely appear as being dismissed from court.
However, there are cases where a conviction will still be visible, particularly to law enforcement and the courts. For example, an expunged record can be used against someone if the person commits another crime. “However, in any subsequent prosecution of the defendant for any other offense, the prior conviction may be pleaded and proved and shall have the same effect as if probation had not been granted or the accusation or information dismissed.” Penal Code 1203.4(a)(1)
Does an expungement make it look like my charge did not happen?
Yes and no. The case number on your official criminal history will have the words “set aside and dismissed” next to it instead of “convicted”. That might help you obtain state licenses (like nursing licenses, etc.). On most background checks carried out by private employers, they’ll see that conviction was set aside.
When you are asked on an application if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully answer no if your records have been expunged because, legally, that conviction has been erased. There are times when you may have to answer yes, however, such as if you were applying for public office, the state lottery, a state or local licensing agency, or the INS, to name a few. While an expungement may look like the charge did not happen when it comes to court records, this will not erase other public records like news articles or websites that archive court filings.