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I had a Dui over 25 years ago. would I put this down on my job application? would it show up on a background check?

Rancho Cucamonga, CA |

the job will complete an extensive background check. will this come up/ do I put this on my application?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Read the application closely. Be careful when signing something under the penalty of perjury. I suggest having your record expunged under 1203.4 of the penal code. Then most private employers cannot see the expunged conviction on your record. Government and government contractors would be able to see even an expunged conviction.

    Also a DUI from 25 years ago should not prevent you from working under most circumstances.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.


  2. Yes, it will show up on a background check. Contrary to Mr. Bogan's answer, there is no such thing as true expungement in California. A dismissal pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4 is a good thing, but all employers will still see the conviction on your record for the rest of your life. The only difference is, it will place a notation on your record that the conviction has been dismissed. It also legally entitles you to tell most employers that you have not been convicted of a crime and most employers are legally prohibited from using the conviction against you. However, jobs that require state licensing have the opposite rule. You do have to disclose it for those jobs and those employers can use the dismissed convictions against you. Since you apparently haven't gotten the conviction dismissed. You should read the questions carefully and answer truthfully, explaining that the conviction is 25 yrs. old and that you've changed since then and led a law abiding life. I think most employers would give you a break on a 25 yr. old DUI. In the mean time, here are the forms for getting the conviction dismissed:

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr180.pdf
    http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr181.pdf


  3. Mr. Pullman is correct about reading the question carefully. Sometime the questions refer to a specific level of crime [misdemeanor or felony] and / or convictions within certain time periods.
    In addition to 1203.4 relief, you might be abe to obtain a cert of rehab. You will need and attorney for this. You may not be charged filing or attorney fees.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


  4. Possibly. Around 20 years ago, most county courthouses computerized. Whether the employer can see the conviction depends upon what service they use to find the conviction, the source or sources that service uses to get records, and whether the courthouse kept computerized records at that time. For purposes of this discussion, I am assuming this is a private employer, not a government agency.

    To get a better feel for what the employer might find, you can start by searching the superior court website for the county where the conviction occurred, which you can do today usually for free or for a very small fee. Search your name and see if the case comes up. You can visit the courthouse in person to see if any record remains. Also, you can contact the California Department of Justice to do a livescan for your own personal reference to see if the DUI is on that record. You can also go online and spend the money on two or three private services to see if the DUI comes up.

    You can expunge the conviction, however, the expungement will do nothing to wipe away the record of the conviction. Just because an expungement lets you tell an employer that you have not been convicted of a crime, it does nothing to seal or destroy the record of the case itself. Also, if the case is very old and out of the system, you could conceivably hurt yourself in filing an expungement by creating a modern record where none exists.

    A final note, as a general rule convictions from the 1980s can be very hard to find except by government agencies that can access Department of Justice records. This is just an observation, which might be helpful taken with the information above.

    Good luck.

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