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If a conviction is off your record and you don't tell the police department of your conviction, how would they know?

Los Angeles, CA |

I agreed to a guilty plea on a felony possession charge for a teeny amount and it was just a stupid circle of events that began with questioning my sanity and was found where the officer had no business looking. I only used on occasion too. Now, I must do a DEF program and be good for 18 months and it won't go on my record. However, I've been told if you try to apply to be a police officer you must disclose it. If you don't and it's not on your record, how would they know? I've also been told it does stay on your record for law enforcement, the state and federal to see. I don't want to get searched and harassed if I get pulled over because of it on my record. Also, I've been thinking about getting a real estate license. I've been told 2 separate scenarios by, I don't know how many.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

If you are fingerprinted it is most likely the arrest and disposition of the charge will be maintained on the official FBI and state law enforcement records. It may show as "record expunged" or other description. Any check by law enforcement of your official records will show this to the requestor authorized to receive these records. Professional licensing checks for police, teachers. doctors, casino workers, DOT hazardous materials certifications and etc. do check these records.The general public may not be able to see theses records. Occasionally there are outcomes that cause the actual destruction of the arrest record at state and national databases but these are rare.

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Asker

Posted

So law enforcement will be able to see it if I get pulled over? I guess it's the most likely type answers I'm getting that aren't sitting well. I don't know what to do.

John Owen Moeller

John Owen Moeller

Posted

That is why I encourage clients to fight the charge. Beat it if you can. Get it reduced to misdemeanor. Deferred prosecutions and similar outcomes are better than an outright conviction but they still come back to haunt people years later. Some states have procedures to remove the criminal history record after a certain time. But I don't think you can ever get all records erased- police reports, jail booking, newspaper and so on. I have clients complain that dismissed charges and not guilty verdicts are used to deny employment...

Robert Lee Marshall

Robert Lee Marshall

Posted

This individual apparently completed diversion under California Penal Code 1000. That means the case was dismissed, but he had to enter a guilty plea and complete education program. The matter cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor since there was never a judgment of conviction entered. After successful completion of diversion, the case "shall not, without the defendant's consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.," except that it must be disclosed in a response to a direct question on an application to become a peace officer, which included police officers. California has no true "expungement" provisions, and criminal history is never actually removed unless the defendant obtains a judgement that he is factually innocent of the crime. The guilty plea required for PC 1000 diversion precludes that finding. The court records of the diversion and dismissal will remain public records, but some courts remove a case from their online index after successful completion of diversion. The arrest and criminal case will always be on the individual's criminal history ("rap sheet") with the California Department of Justice, with a notation that the case was dismissed after successful completion of diversion. For non-citizens, a dismissal under Penal Code 1000 will not prevent deportation or other immigration consequences. Since I am not licensed to practice in other states, I do not answer Avvo questions dealing with other jurisdictions. Information from an attorney not licensed in your state is like medical advice from a veterinarian; there may be some similarities, but the differences are significant enough to make the information unreliable, if not downright dangerous.

Asker

Posted

I'm in California. Had to plead guilty to get the deal when I had originally gone to court to plead not guilty and request a public defender. I'm going through a divorce after being with my husband half my life and wanted to avoid trial. My intent was to get it reduced or even dismissed based on the facts. I didn't think or know it would follow me the rest of my life as a felony and not a misdameanor at least.....if not dropped because it was "found" by an officer I let in to question me about something else. He happened to lift up a pillow to find a very small amount. He had no right looking under it. Turned into a 2 week nightmare from hell that caused me permanent emotional damage in addition to the mental illness I suffer from already. I'm not an addict, I was simply using to escape my rude reality as that's the only tool I was taught growing up. I'm in therapy learning more of how to take care of myself instead of others. This made me try harder to do that but now, I'm perplexed and can't afford an attorney until our house is sold which may be after the 6 months have expired.

Posted

Your arrest record will always show in the National database, you would have to disclose it when applying for certain positions. It can also. Cause issues with your getting licensed .

ANDREW ROBERTS CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC TICKET DEFENSE ATTORNEY

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Posted

The fact of the arrest and the Deferred Entry of Judgment will always be set forth on your CA Dept of Justice (Live Scan) record and your NCIC (FBI) record. What is regulated by the laws is the use that can be made of the events that are recorded there.

If you apply for law enforcement employment, you must affirmatively fully disclose, and the law enforcement entity can consider the arrest and DEJ.

If you apply for State licensing, you must affirmatively disclose, but the State licensing agency may not consider the arrest and DEJ in its decision. The State licensing agency can, however, consider the underlying facts and circumstances.

The FBI and other federal agencies will not give effect to state court orders and remedies that require the federal agency to delete matter from its data base.

NOTHING SAID HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE! Read this notice BEFORE you contact me! My posts on Avvo in response to the public's questions are never offered as legal advice. Do not rely on any response posted by me as applicable to your specific problem or circumstances. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions - Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my law firm. My law firm does not provide free consultations. See http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/free-consultation-the-purposes-and-utility-of-free-for-potential-clients-and-for-attorneys for further details on that issue. Please do not call or email me with a “few questions.” I give advice, make recommendations, and answer specific questions only after reviewing the documentary record and other evidence applicable to a specific client, and only in the course of or following a conference with my client in which all of the relevant information can be identified and developed. AND I give legal advice ONLY in the course of an attorney-client relationship created and defined by a written contract for services, signed by my client and by me or a member of my firm, for which payment has been made. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; professional (State or federal licensing agency) discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic disputes involving universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We accept grievances, administrative claims, arbitrations, mediations, negotiations, and other non-litigation matters pertaining to employment, hospital and facility privileges, tenure, and contractual disputes. We conduct seminars and training in employment law for employers and union advocates, and in issues of professional/occupational licensing law for criminal defense attorneys. We accept NO contingency work, and we take no matters for which CCP discovery is applicable.

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Posted

As everyone has already pointed out, the arrest is permanent, you must disclose for a law enforcement position, and they will find out easily by doing an appropriate background check. What's unclear to me is why you would want to be a cop. Cops are front line warriors in the insane war on drugs. Much of what they do consists of harrassing poor people - usually minorities - for non-violently possessing or selling illegal drugs. If you become a cop you will be consciously participating in America's prison industrial complex which incarcerates more people per capita than any nation on earth. This mass jailing has mostly occurred in the last 30 years, has disproportionately involved poor black and Hispanic males, and mainly relates to outlandish sentences for non-violent victimless drug crimes. Don't be a hypocrite and get a badge and gun and start arresting poor people for doing exactly what you did. Not to single you out; our last three presidents have used illegal narcotics without getting caught and then each out did their predecessor in increasing the budget and aggressiveness of the insane war on drugs. A fat pension is not worth selling your soul.

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4 comments

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Well said, well said!

Asker

Posted

I don't see where I indicated I wanted to become a cop, I used the "what if" only as an example. I wouldn't join the corrupt forces if you paid me!!!

Vijay Dinakar

Vijay Dinakar

Posted

My mistake, you did frame that in the conditional "what if". Best of luck

Asker

Posted

Do you happen to have an answer to why, my husband who lives here too, didn't get arrested. In fact, I think he may have been involved in setting me up. We're in the middle of a divorce and things are heating up. I know he's lied about things so far and constantly holds that over my head and threatens to have me arrested when I'm "not nice".

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