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I was granted dismissal, but i was unsure if a dismissal is the same as an expungement? Is there an way to clear my record?

El Cajon, CA |

The court document states that i was granted relief under Pen. Code 1203.4, but I was unsure if a dismissal and an expungement meant the same thing in California or if they were different.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. It should be the same, best that you confirm with the attorney who assisted you with this as they can give you the best and most accurate info since they made the request in the motion/petition that was filed with the court. My bet is it was definitely an expungement.

    William Daley (619) 238-1905 / www.lawofficeofwilliamdaley.com


  2. As you are uncertain, communicating with your counsel at the time would be a great idea for you.


  3. It is unlikely that they are one and the same. I would hire a criminal defense attorney in order to file to expunge the records.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.


  4. PC 1203.4 is a dismissal. However, a dismissal after a conviction. Read the statute, it is beneficial for employment in the private sector, but a public entity or professional license will regard it as a conviction. It is not an eraser but does have some value.

    Contributions on AVVO.com in no way create an attorney-client relationship nor are they intended to be relied upon as a course of action without having first consulted directly with an attorney, where the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be fully discussed.


  5. Grupenhagen got it. You were expunged, not quite as good as dismissed prior to conviction.


  6. This is an issue where California's law is somewhat different from the law in other states. California law does not offer true "expungement" in the nature of erasure or deletion of adult conviction records. The post-conviction dismissal you obtained is all that is available under California law unless you obtain a court order determining that you are factually innocent -- an order that requires you to meet a very high factual standard distinct from the issues of P. C. 1203.4 dismissal.

    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.


  7. It appears you obtained the best, post-conviction, relief/dismissal you could have hoped for. Always double check with your attorney!

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