She has to file for expungement. Go to the court clerk to get the paperwork.
I am licensed to practice only in California and the 9th Circuit. This response is informational only and is based only on the general inquiry posted, which may differ from the advice that would be given if further facts were given, or if the inquiry implicates laws which are state specific. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information to provide a more complete, or even a completely different, answer.
There is a process commonly referred to as an expungement. There is no true expungement in California. The arrest and conviction will remain on her record. She will need to tell any state licensing agency or governmental employer about the conviction. She may deny the conviction to an civi [non-government] employer . Who may find out about it nyway.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
There is no true expungement in California if she was convicted. She can petition the court to dismiss the case under Penal Code §1203.4, which adds a note to the court's public record that the case was dismissed after successful completion of probation.
Private employers aren't supposed to consider convictions dismissed under this section, but they still might discover it on a background check. She would still have to disclose it when applying for government jobs or professional licenses, and it could be used as a "prior" to increase the punishment for future theft offenses.
She can get all the necessary information and forms by visiting the court clerk in the county where the conviction occurred and asking for a 1203.4 packet.
If she wasn't convicted, she could petition for a factual finding of innocence, which would seal & destroy the record of the case. However, she would have to prove that no reasonable person could believe she committed the offense, which is a very high burden to meet.
Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.
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