In California, there is no true sealing of criminal records in adult cases in a situation such as yours. While obtaining relief pursuant to PC 1203.4 has benefits, it does not wipe away the records.
There is only one way records get sealed in CA if you are not a juvenile and that is through a petition for factual innocence. You can't get that, however, once you have been convicted. The conviction and dismissal will stay on your criminal record forever and the DUI will also never be removed from the DMV records, not even after the ten years has run.
Mr. Kaizuka is correct, there is no option for you to seal your record. Your case will still appear on the docket, but it should show a plea of not guilty and that it was dismissed. I am not familiar with the court's in your county, but here in Orange County the record will show that the case was dismissed pursuant to PC 1203.4. You do have the right, in certain circumstances, to say that you were not convicted; however, even that has it's limitations. Sorry to tell you that the people you found online are misinformed about sealing your DUI record.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and shall not constitute legal advice. I have answered a question on a public forum which does not establish any attorney-client relationship. For a more detailed legal analysis you should consult with a legal professional in your area.
As my colleagues have indicated, there is no true way to seal your records for convictions as an adult. As mentioned above, your records can only be sealed if you have juvenile convictions through delinquency courts (delinquency proceedings are generally confidential). However, as an adult, no such parallel exists, except for through a Petition of Innocence.
Nonetheless, expungement, as noted is still an option. However, that may not get you the desired outcome that you were misled to believe.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me.
Daniel H. Vaswani
Criminal/DUI Defense Attorney
Red Metric, APC (www.RedMetric.com)
The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon. No reliance will be presumed. Only upon the hiring of qualified counsel can such advice be custom-tailored to the client's specific facts. Any prior results mentioned or referred to do not guaranty similar outcome. ADVERTISEMENT.
As an adult, you've done all you can to "clean up" your conviction by the relief in PC 1203.4 (the dismissal, commonly [and incorrectly] referred to as an expungement). It cannot be sealed, nor can you get your reports, photos, etc destroyed. Your Google search turned up information about a petition for factual innocence under PC 851.8, but after a plea of guilty, that is not an option for you.
The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.