In 2002 I was charged with felony grand theft in California, which my attorney later had it reduced to a misdemeanor. I was convicted in 2003 and my case expunged in September 2005. I am applying for a secretary position at a public school in California. How do I answer this question: "have you ever been convicted for any offense against the law? You may ommit minor traffic offenses".
3 Answers from Attorneys
Generally, if you are working for a school with children you will be required to submit to a Lifescan. That's where your fingerprints are submitted to the Department of Justice and your criminal history is revealed and will show that the case was dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4.
Penal Code section 1203.4 states in part, "The[1203.4] order shall state, and the probationer shall be informed, that the order does not relieve him or her of the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery."
The job with school isn't included in that those items. You no longer have a conviction but, it may show up on a lifescan.
Expungement does NOT ‘clear’, 'remove', ‘erase’ or ‘disappear’ the conviction. Nothing will. ‘Records are forever’. Expungement does change the record to show an arrest, charges filed, with 'conviction reversed and charges dismissed by expungement'. The conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offenses. That record is accessible in background checks. Expungement will help in obtaining employment. When applying for a job in the private sector, in response to any question concerning your prior criminal record, you may ‘legally’ deny that you were arrested or convicted of the offense. However, you must disclose the arrest and conviction in any questionnaire or application for certification or licensing by any government agency [medical, legal, EDUCATIONAL, professional, law enforcement, security clearances, bonding, etc]. The licensing agency then will decide whether the nature of the past convictions and your record will bar you from licensing and employment in that field.
You answer yes, conviction dismissed.
Related Questions & Answers
How do you obtain a copy of your criminal charges once you are no longer on... Asked 4/23/13, 4:21 pm in United States California Criminal Law