Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

I'm filling out an application for the city in which I live (w/in California). It's asking me if i have ever been convicted of any violation of the law. I have three misd.. One from 1996,another in 1998, and the third in 2001. All three have been dismissed. The offense in 1996 was granted an expungment in 2001. My question is; do I need to list only the two that were not expunged, do I have to list them all, etc.??? What is the correct protocol without giving them too much info.? Thanks for your response.

Asked on 5/08/12, 9:52 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

If the three were 'dismissed' without any plea entry or conviction, then there are no 'convictions' to disclose about them.

You were expected to know and understand what you did and what you got in your expungement process. Expungement does NOT ‘clear’, 'remove' or ‘erase’ the conviction, but does change the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. It doesn’t ‘disappear’. The conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense. It still shows on your record that is accessible to government agencies, law enforcement, courts, background checks, etc. When applying for a job in the private sector, in response to any question concerning your prior criminal record, you may deny that you were arrested or convicted of the offense. However, you must disclose the arrest and conviction in any questionnaire or application for licensing by any state or local agency, for public office, for a position as a peace officer, for contracting with the California State Lottery, or for purposes of serving on a jury. The licensing agency and employer then can decide, in their discretion, whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the conviction.

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Answered on 5/08/12, 3:05 pm
Theresa Hofmeister Theresa Hofmeister, Attorney At Law

As Mr. Nelson points out, your question does not make sense as phrased. If all 3 misdemeanors were dismissed, you have no convictions.

I am unclear on what you mean by the word "dismissed" - you are using an inaccurate word, but I don't know what you could be intending to say, besides maybe meaning "expunged" .... which you distinguish, as not-being what you mean by "dismissed." Do you mean you are off probation? Either way it is still a conviction; whether or not you are on probation is often a separate question.

For private employers generally you can skip the expunged one, here leaving you with two.

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Answered on 5/08/12, 6:37 pm
Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I agree with Ms. Hofmeister. It is not clear what you are referring to. You mention one expungement, but then state the other two convictions have been dismissed. On the other two, you were either convicted or not. It would help if you provided more details.

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Answered on 5/11/12, 3:32 pm

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