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Do misdemeanors convictions that have been expunged show up on background check?

Whittier, CA |

I was convicted of 2 misd charges like 6 years ago, I had them expunged in court, would they show up on record for employment purposes.

Attorney Answers 2


Possibly, depending on the agency that conducts the background check. However, with limited exceptions, employers cannot inquire about cases that have been expunged pursuant to PC 1203.4. See California Code of Regulations 7287.4(d)(1)(B).

This answer is intended for general information, not legal advice. Nothing in this answer shall be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship.

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The convictions will remain in their original form on your Dept of Justice criminal history record (Live Scan). You can obtain your own copy of your Live Scan at outlets all over CA for a very modest fee. Use Google for locations. After successful motion under P. C. § 1203.4 (CA's weak-tea version of "expungement"), an additional entry is made to your D of J record, setting forth the fact of the post-conviction dismissal. Nothing is removed, deleted, changed, erased, or otherwise obscured in your Dept of Justice record. Ditto your NCIC (FBI) record.

Not all employers have access to your Dept of Justice record. But the reality is that the digital age has caused the boundary to become very permeable.

Your P.C. 1203.4 Order allows you to deny your dismissed matter in applying for most employment. But there are perils to that right. If the background check reveals the original convictions -- and many do because there is no withdrawal or retraction of the original public court record of the conviction-- then the employer may erroneously believe that your denial was deceptive. Most employers will not challenge your info or the answer on your application, but they may move past your application and hire someone else. Employers are not required to offer any reason or factual basis for denying employment. For this reason, some employment applicants state "Expunged only" or something along those lines instead of "No." Obviously this practice has its own risks and downsides.

The situation re employment background reports and the schizophrenia of CA"s "post-conviction dismissal" process is long overdue for legislative reform.

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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