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California "Expungement" ramifications regarding criminal background checks?

Sacramento, CA |

Hi, Could someone please inform me about what happens when a crime is expunged in California? I am aware that it does not "purge" your record, but rather changes the charge from guilty to not guilty. I know when it comes to government jobs, state licensing, and the lottery, everything will be disclosed on a criminal background check, expunged or not.

My question is, what will show up on a criminal background check for employers that are not applying for the types of jobs I just stated? (Will it show the original charges and that they were dropped? Will it show reduction from Felony to Misdemeanor?)

I was charged with 4 felonies, but 3 were dismissed and 1 I plead nolo contendere, will a background check show the 3 dismissed?

Once expunged, are ANY of the crimes public record anymore?

Also, does applying for a teaching position or coaching position at a high school count for any of the 3 types of job where you HAVE to disclose EVERYTHING, expunged or not? Or will that not show up on a background check since school aren't government employed? Thank you for all of your time.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Yes, they will show up unless expunged. Even if they are expunged a Google search will revel all arrests. Expunction orders do not affect the internet and there are all sorts of websites like mugshots.com that live forever.

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Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

California does not have a true "expungement" process, as I explained to you a few days ago. Please review CA statutes if you are going to answer questions of CA criminal history and records law. In CA, there is only post-conviction dismissal. Penal Code section 1203.4. NOTHING is erased, deleted, removed, or otherwise obscured from the visible record Dept of Justice record-- internet or otherwise.

John M. Kaman

John M. Kaman

Posted

To add to Ms. McCall's comments, googling a person's name in CA will not give you their arrest record. I echo her feeling that if FL lawyers are going to expound on CA law they should learn what it is before posting.

Posted

There are two motions that you can bring to help clean up your record. First, a 17B motion might be able to get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor. And the 1203.4 motion can get your charge "dismissed". These will not affect arrest records, but will mean that you can say you've never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. A background check will show dismissed charges, but employers are only supposed to be able to use convictions against you. For more information on that process: http://www.idefendlosangeles.com/3/post/2013/07/keeping-your-record-clean.html

Best,

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
t: 323.803.4352 | f: 323.617.3838
www.iDefendLosAngeles.com
Nicholas.Loncar@iDefendLosAngeles.com
Sunset Law Building | 1295 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA | 90027

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Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

School district employers are not limited to conviction data -- they can consider the facts and circumstances underlying any event that they can learn of from the public record.

Posted

Most teaching/coaching positions are public school district employment and applicants must have a State credential and a full disclosure of all criminal history will be required for both the credential and the employment. School district employers are not limited to consideration of convictions. Schools and school districts will examine the CONDUCT underlying all arrests, charges, convictions, restraining orders, etc. -- that is different than using or relying on arrest history or an arrest itself.

These public sector jobs are very competitive in the present economic market, so be prepared for difficulty in competing for such employment if you have criminal history baggage.

If you have a felony conviction, you are not a likely candidate for CA public school employment. Sorry to be so blunt, but knowledge is power. You have to play the cards you have.

Private school employers generally hire State-credentialed teachers and coaches, also, but they are somewhat less formalistic in their pre-employment screening re criminal history record.

As for private sector employment, there is no standard for "background checks." What will show on your background check depends on what sources are consulted by the information-provider vendor. If a matter is on your record, it is findable because most vendors simply report the entirety of the public record in order to circumvent the various state restraints on specific kinds of background information. It is lawful for information vendors to report any matter from public records.

In your case, you should order up your Dept of Justice report at a Live Scan outlet (use Google to find) and then you will know exactly what shows. Most likely you will see there all arrest and info, all charges, and all results of the charges. ALL adult criminal history events remain on the public record indefinitely. There is no "expungement" in the sense of removal in California.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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Asker

Posted

"All adult criminal history events remain on the public record indefinitely." Are you saying that whether I have my conviction expunged or not, anybody at any time may go online to the official court website and it will still show up that I was convicted and dismissed? Or anybody may go to a courthouse and get this information? I was told that once my conviction was expunged, it would be taken out of the public record and the only way to see anything would be on a criminal background check, and even then it would only show the charges dismissed. Are you saying that it will still show that I was still convicted of a felony, and that it was reduced to a misdemeanor? And thank you for being so blunt. I'd much rather have the truth on the negative side so i can prepare for the worse.

John M. Kaman

John M. Kaman

Posted

She's not saying that. Your criminal history can only be accessed by certain entities, such as police forces, fire departments, school districts, etc, any entity that is considering granting you a state license to practice a profession. Joe Blow in the street cannot enter an Internet cafe and get your records. Neither can a private attorney.

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

I am not intending to provide any info about on-line services. So far as I know, the State Judicial Council has not yet prescribed for the various judicial districts any uniform practices for on-line retention and access re public records, and I believe that on-line policies and practices vary widely throughout the State as to what can be viewed on-line. Even where there is an effort to bring records on-line, as has been widely reported, many of the projects are stalled for system failures or collapse of funding. Moreover, I know of no local court district that has placed criminal convictions or criminal histories on-line (although many convictions are reported elsewhere on-line in other contexts, such as all of the web-sites of State licensing agencies.) But setting aside the "on-line" issue, criminal convictions are "public record," and public records can be accessed by some or all of the public by varying processes and procedures. Some of the limitations are official, as with official criminal "rap" sheets (State criminal history records); some are simply a matter of practicality or "know how," such as court dockets. Adult criminal convictions are not confidential by law, and they are not removed from one's record as a matter of passage of time, by CA's substitute for "expungement (P.C. Sec 1203.4 dismissal), or by other remedy save a judicial Order of Factual innocence. I won't offer a point-by-point refutation of what you were "told" by persons unknown. Most of that is profoundly inaccurate. In truth, it would be difficult to identify a legal issue that affects more people and yet is more widely misunderstood and inaccurately reported on than that of criminal convictions access and retention practices and policies. Any skilled licensed private investigator can ordinarily easily unearth public record sources of a criminal conviction. There are a variety of routine circumstances in which a person is required to disclose prior convictions. That requirement is almost always an integrity test because the asking entity will virtually always access the public record to verify the info disclosed.

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