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When a judge says a case will be dismissed, does that mean my record will remain clean?

Fresno, CA |

I went to court today for petty theft (my record was clean prior to this) & i asked for a public defender & it was so hectic.. i didn't even get a chance to properly talk to her.. in fact i found out she was my pd and not some paralegal working there when she told me the da was offerring me a deal. Anyways I was so scared/nervous i took it.. but from all of my research it did seem like a good deal. Basically, i will need to take a shop lifting class within 6 months, and then have a court date in may to show my certification of completion. when the judge addressed me he stated that as long as i don't get into trouble AND complete my class, "my case will be dismissed".. his exact words. does this mean my record will be clean again??

also, i asked the PD who stated "yes i'll be clean" but didn't have time to throughly answer... so does this mean if i apply for a bank i'll pass their background check? & if i apply for a nursing license (i'm in the nursing program) i'll have no problems because i'm cleared? please clarify!!

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Attorney answers 3


Anyone serching the public records will not find a judgment of conviction against you if you complete the class successfully. If you are asked on a job application about convictions you can say none. If asked about arrests your truthful answer is yes. Your explanation is that case was dismissed.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


It appears as if you pled guilty and have been offered a diversion program. In the event you complete what has been asked of you by the court, your case will be dismissed. If you fail to adhere to the conditions over the next 6 months you will be sentenced for a petty theft and you will have a criminal conviction.


If you complete the program there will be no record of conviction but your arrest record will remain unless you got deferred entry of judgment. In some counties and for some offenses this means that no guilty plea is ever entered. In that case if you finish the program you will have no record of conviction and your arrest record will be erased. You need to check with the PD to see exactly what your situation is.

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