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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.

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Attorney answers 7


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 /


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


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.


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 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.


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


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.

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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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