Will having a case dismissed on a theft charge hinder me for employment or getting into medical schools?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Diego, CA

I am not convicted because I obtained a plea bargain with "guilty" which allowed me to take a class and then get my case dismissed in a few months. My questions are:
1) What is on my record?
2) If "case dismissed" is on my record, is there ANY way of getting that and my arrest FULLY removed?
3) If employment asks: If I have ever been CHARGED? is that yes or no? (even though I did not get convicted)

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Tai Christopher Bogan


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to speak to a licensing attorney. I suggest you speak to Ms. Christine McCall. http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/91101-ca-christin...

    1. Your record will show an arrest, charge by the DA and subsequent dismissal
    2. Getting the entry removed requires a sealing, which requires a finding factual innocence. If you plead guilty, obtaining such a finding is going to be very difficult.
    3. Have you ever been charged? Yes you were charged. Also applications for licenses generally will define what a conviction is for the purpose of that said application. So pay attention to the application definition. In addition, each licensing agency has their own definitions which dictate what a conviction is for their purposes.

    Important that you call a licensing attorney.

    Ms. McCall is in a better position

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

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The arrest record will always be on your record. You record will show a case was dismissed. There is no way after you enter into this deal to successfully petition for factual innocence (and if is unlikely that you would be granted this even of you do not take this offer). Employers in California can only ask about convictions. You can honestly answer that you were never convicted. Now as for applying to a government job or licensing board you will need to disclose and explain the situation and how you have changed.
    Robert Driessen

    Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated... more
  3. Paul Henry Neuharth Jr

    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Why don't you ask your previous attorney this question or else consult with a local criminal defense attorney. You will need to bring copies of your court dockets for someone to review along with a change of plea form from your file. If you do not have them, you can pay for them from the Court Clerk's office or hire someone to retrieve them for you. Paul Neuharth 619-231-0401

  4. David Philip Shapiro


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 1) The charges brought and dismissed;
    2) Sealing/destroying of "arrest records" requires you prove "factual innocence".
    3) Other than potential state/federal licensing applications, employers can only ask about convictions.

    However it is ALWAYS best to consult with the attorney who represented you as they should remember, or have notes to refresh their recollection, the exact terms of the dismissal.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555
  5. Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Will it hinder? Probably.

    Will it prevent? Probably not, it depends on the questions legally asked on the application as well as the prejudices of the people making admission or hiring decisions.

    If you are asked about conviction (the most common question), this is not a conviction.

    A good background check will show the arrest and unless the record is somehow sealed (unlikely) the subsequent guilty plea and dismissal.

    I agree with California counsel that Christine McCall would be a good person to ask about licensing. She is familiar with both the ins and outs of various boards and with the exact meaning of court dispositions in California.

    If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others.

    Thank you.

    --- Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin

    --- Facebook Page

    --- Talking to the Police - Advice from Lawyers and Police

    --- Miranda Rights (and Wrongs)


    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum.

    I am an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.

    If something I say disagrees with what your own lawyer is telling you, you should rely on your lawyer who is familiar with you, your entire case, the local courts and practices.

    Most questions are just better handled by an attorney familiar with the procedures of the courts in your area. Few, if any, legal matters should be handled via Internet communication. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services.

    This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only.

    Click on the “more” link below for more important information about the answer and AVVO.

    Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. Click on the "More..." link for... more
  6. William Peter Daley

    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . That fact alone should not prevent you from ever getting a job, or applying to medical school.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

30,559 answers this week

3,304 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

30,559 answers this week

3,304 attorneys answering