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What Does It Mean to "Expunge" My Record?

If you successfully get a 1203.4 dismissal ("expungement"), it does NOT mean that the conviction is wiped away, sealed, purged or destroyed! The arrest is still there, charges are still there, but technically the conviction is "set aside and dismissed".

Okay, so what does that mean?

  1. On your official criminal history kept in Sacramento, the case number will have the words "set aside and dismissed" next to it instead of "convicted". That might help you for things like getting state licenses (like nursing licenses, etc). On background checks done by private employers, they will see that the conviction was dismissed as well.

2.If a potential employer asks you if you have ever been convicted, you can honestly answer no! Legally, the conviction is gone

IMPORTANT! There are a few places you still have to say yes, you have been convicted, even if it's all been expunged. Those places are: 1) the INS; 2) any state or local licensing agency (like when you're applying for a guard card or nursing license); 3) contracts with the state lottery; and 4) in an application for public office.

  1. If you're applying for a job in a different state, you better be on the safe side and tell potential employers that you had a case but it was dismissed, just in case they have different rules.

What about the police and government agencies?

  1. Expunged convictions can still be used as priors and strikes.
  2. Expunged convictions can still affect your driving privileges.
  3. Expunged convictions can still restrict your ability to possess a firearm.
  4. Expungement does not affect sex offender registration requirements.
  5. Expungement may help you get a state license, but it's NO GUARANTEE! You should check with the licensing agency to see if you can get a license with your criminal background, even if the convictions are expunged.