You can expunge it and the official records will be destroyed, but the internet will have a record. There are sites like mugshots.com that list all arrests. A google search will turn those up. Run your name on google. Expunction orders do not affect those sites.
In Riverside the DEJ is a program that does not result in a conviction. You plead guilty, and continue the sentencing 90 days until you finish the 1 or 2 day "theft skills" course. After 90 days, when you return to court and have completed everything and no new offenses, the charge is dismissed. There is nothing to expunge because there was no conviction.
I agree with my colleague Mr. Allen-- there's technically nothing to expunge. However, one of the persistent issues we deal with in the criminal defense community is that people who aren't convicted of any crime (like yourself) still have their prior arrests, etc. show up on background checks. I'd say you could consult with an employment law attorney on this point, because technically employers aren't supposed to be doing background checks which reveal arrest history, or so I've been led to believe-- but that's not a great solution for most people. It's one of those things where you're not going to get off on the right foot with an employer if you're arguing about whether they acted lawfully in doing a background check...
Any answer provided on Avvo, including this one, is a general answer about a legal question, not specific legal advice. Different lawyers may analyze this or any other matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am licensed in the state of California and the Central District of the Ninth Circuit.
There is no expungement in California -- only post-convcition dismissal under P. C§§ 1203.4 and 1203.4(a), and you will have nothing to dismiss once you have completed your program.
The arrest and the charges and the fact of your diversion and the result of that diversion will all be reported on your CA Dept of Justice criminal history (Live Scan report). Order your own copy if you would find that helpful.
CA statutes prohibit employers from using arrest info, but the statutes are admittedly not highly effective. Some employers may ask about it -- usually out of ignorance. Be prepared to turn that around positively if you are asked, as legal claims for this error are difficult and often don't lead to a sufficient recovery to make the litigation worthwhile. And a job is almost always better than a claim of legal violation.
You will not have any conviction to disclose if you complete you program successfully.
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