Skip to main content

I was told that i need to get my "finger prints" for the state so I can purchase a daycare. will my charge for petty theft show?

Los Angeles, CA |

3 years ago I had a charge for "Petty theft", the case was dismissed because my accuser dropped the charges--so there is no conviction. Will this charge show up when I do a live scan or finger print? I've never been arrested or anything like that so a picture or a scan of my thump is not on any police records. Can you please give me more information about this?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


Alongside running your prints, they will most likely run your name and DOB as well. Even if you were never fingerprinted, there is a discoverable record of the charge and dismissal. A dismissed charge shouldn't be held against you.

This is your career, so I would either check your record yourself to be sure or at least consult with an attorney who has some experience with state licensing agencies. It is usually best to disclose any arrests/charges, but it will depend on the wording of questions you had to answer on any forms.


The arrest and dismissal will probably show if you were booked at tr time.



I wasn't arrested. it was a false charge, my accuser dropped the charges and the case was dismissed.


Dismissed cases show on a CA criminal history report. If you want to know what will show you can go to a lives an facility and request a report. They will run a criminal history report and mail you a copy so you can see what it looks like. You can find the information regarding how to do so at


In investigating your qualifications for license, the state licensing agency will check your California (Dept of Justice) and national (NCIC -- FBI) records. You can find out what is reported on both of those records -- not by guessing or by relying on the predictions of attorneys here, but by ordering copies of your records for yourself.

Keep in mind that since the State will get its info about your criminal history from the official records, the required disclosure of criminal history on the application for license is an integrity test of you -- the applicant. It is a critical and outcome-determinative test, and any failures to disclose will be assumed to be purposeful and deceptive and will cause a denial of the license. Don't attempt anything other than full and literal compliance with the disclosure instructions.

If the theft conduct is reported on the official forms, the State licensing agency is likely to order up the narrative reports of the theft accusation and to require you to provide a full narrative account of the underlying facts and circumstances of the allegation. Again, don't be at odds with the documents or provide less than is required.

The State has the statutory power to deny a license for improper or unethical conduct even if that conduct was not prosecuted and did not cause criminal conviction. See Bus & Prof Code Sec 480. But the State often will not exercise that authority unless the narrative facts of the theft allegation raises some issue that is troubling for the specific kind of licensed work that is contemplated. But, the State is very rigid and can be very harsh in dealing with licensees whose licensed work involves the welfare of children. So don't be shocked if the State delays issuing a license and gets involved in a detailed investigation of your application for license. I have seen "single accusation - no conviction" child care applicant cases go both ways. The State has considerable discretion under the law, and is not required to investigate or decide such cases identically.

You could talk with an attorney about bringing a Penal Code sec 851.8 petition. Don't do it unless the District Attorney agrees not to oppose the Petition. But if you can make that deal with the D.A., it will be immensely useful in your licensing effort.

Your best course is to consult with a skilled and experienced licensing attorney at the first hint of anything from the State other than routine processing of your application. It is critical to prevent a decision of denial, for many reasons, and an attorney can navigate through the process with information and knowledge that is vastly too extensive and complex to lay out here.

Good luck to you.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an 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 individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


This is not a guess. If you were charged then there is a record of your case that can be found. If the case was indeed dismissed you may have legal recourse to have it destroyed. Contact a criminal defense attorney in your area to discuss your remedies.

Brian Michaels
Los Angeles County Criminal Defense Attoreny



Hi Brian. I have consulted with two attorneys who told me that once a person has a record it will stay on forever...having a dismissed case is the best remedy available, correct?


As has already been said, the fact that you were charged will show up. Since there was no conviction it should not cause you problems. Running your own background check would show you what is there. One problem can be saying no to a question that the licensing agency thinks you are lying about.

This is general legal advice and does not apply to the facts of any particular situation or case. This advice does not constitute any type of attorney-client relationship and creates no privilege between the parties.

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer