Can I get an expungement for employment purposes? DUI 18 months ago. All requirements completed. I am a Pharmacist.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Yes, you can seek an expungement. Ordinarily, they want you to complete the entire period of probation first. You can apply for an early termination of probation and expungement (dismissal under 1203.4), but it's discretionary on the part of the court to grant your termination request early.
You should know that expungement doesn't completely erase this from your record - it just adds a note that the case was dismissed pursuant to 1203.4. You will still be required to disclose it for licensing and other limited purposes. It also stays on your DMV record for 10 years and can still be used as a prior against you. The benefit is that you can tell private employers that you've never been convicted of a crime.
If you're interested in exploring your options and getting started, I practice in Orange County.
I assume you are still on probation, so you would have to convince the judge to terminate probation to get a so-called expungment -- which is really a dismissal that doesn't expunge anything and is of very limited benefit in your position.
Penal Code 1203.4 allows a person who has completed probation to petition the court to withdraw their plea, or set aside the jury verdict, and have the case dismissed. This does not remove the case from court records and you will still have to report it to any licensing agency -- in your case, the pharmacy board.
The California Labor Code prohibits employers from inquiring about any arrest that did not result in a conviction. Some attorneys take the position that means an employer can't ask about a case that was retroactively dismissed under 1203.4. However, since your potential employers are likely to do a background check and the DUI may still show up, it is probably better to disclose it from the start.
It will also remain on your DMV record for ten years and can be used to increase the punishment for any new DUI conviction ten years from the date of conviction.
You might want to take a look at this article that just appeared in a Southern California newspaper, discussing the "expungement" of Mel Gibson's DUI conviction. Follow the link below.