Erasing an arrest record after completing diversion or after getting an acquittal. Which choice is better in this situation?

Asked about 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

Hypothetical situation
Let's say I am a law-abiding citizen who was arrested due to entrapment by officers. I am booked for a court appearance within 3 days. I try to look for a private lawyer, and I find some great lawyers out there who after hearing my story told me that they can try to prevent my case from being filed at the court. At first I feel enthusiastic about hiring one of them, but later I discover two hard realities: Great lawyers are expensive, and I am still a poor law-abiding citizen.
I go to court and ask for a lawyer. A court employee screen my financial status and I am told I qualify for public representation. I plead not guilty and am schedule for a pre-trial. On my pre-trial my PD gives me two choices: 1. Take the diversion program. 2. Take the case to a jury trial.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Sholeh Iravantchi

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . As to being represented by Public Defender; Bear in mind that they are great attorneys and your public defender exactly knows what you are facing and how to deal with it. His comment is correct. You are the one that makes the choice of taking the plea or going for trial. He only can advise you on that but you are the one that makes that decision.
    As to erasing the arrest record; That is not one of the options as you cannot. He did not say that your arrest record would go away. Most likely is that after successful completion of program your charges will be dismissed! And Jury trial, there is no way anyone can say with %100 certainty that you would prevail!

  2. Lonnie L Mcdowell

    Contributor Level 11

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    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . Okay, first, if you get an acquittal it means you were found not guilty by the jury or court if a bench trial and you will not have a record of conviction., but will still have the arrest on your record.
    Second, if you are found guilty and it's a misdemeanor you should be able to get it expunged which means the court dismisses the charges after you complete your probation and allowing you to answer that you have never been convicted of a crime. There are a few exceptions like state licenses, employment with a law enforcement agency that you still have to disclose it, but for most circumstances you do not have to disclose. However, it doesn't mean your record is erased. The arrest is still going to be on your police record, just not the conviction.
    Third, diversion. Most diversion programs will automatically expunge if you complete the program successfully. But once again, your arrest will still be discoverable, but it will appear on your record as charges being dismissed.
    Best to speak with your public defender to see which option they feel is best since they know all the details of your case.

  3. Christine C McCall

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

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    Answered . What are your future career objectives? That can make a significant difference in comparing your options.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more
  4. David Matthew Piper

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Q:What is better?
    A: what does your PD say?

    It is impossible for anyone who has not read the police reports or is familiar with the specific court and DA to answer this. Therefore, follow the advice of the attorney you currently have at your disposal.

    Second opinions that will he of any value to you are not.going to be cheap.

    Reliance on any information in this website is at the sole risk of the user and the user understands that he or... more

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