Can I remove what shows up when someone does a background check on me in California? 14 Answers as of December 05, 2010

I have caught for petty crimes like theft and possesion of drugs. In 05 I spent a month in county jail for misdemeanor trespassing and was on probation after that. I graduated from a four year school with a internship and am looking for a steady job despite the economy. I have grown up a lot since then. I am looking for a new job and wonder what employers will see about my criminal record and I want as much removed from my criminal record as possible. If a CA employer does a criminal background check, what can be done so the convictions and the cases will not appear?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Nothing can be done about "removing" a past criminal record (with the exception of minor marijuana offenses) and anyone can always go to the court where they occurred and look up the court files under your name if they have the correct identifying information. On the other hand, unless you give them permission or they access the state computer system illegally they would not have access to the your criminal automated history maintained by the state. On the other hand you can apply with or without an attorney for your record to be expunged to which you may or may not be entitled to do. (depends on whether you have violated probation among other things). If successful you could then say on private employment applications that you have not been convicted of a crime. Expungements however do not apply to licensing situations, government employment and other limited situations in which a financial institution is involved and you seek a position of trust.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/5/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
You should consult with a local criminal defense attorney to see what options are available to you. Depending on what the convictions were for, how long ago, etc., you may be entitled to have felonies reduced to misdemeanors and seek an "expungement" - a dismissal under Penal Code section 1203.4.

Once a case is expunged, you may then tell private employers that you have not been convicted of a crime. It does NOT erase the conviction from you record - it just makes a notation that the case was subsequently dismissed. There are only a few instances where you must still disclose the convictions.

Because they still show up to some level, some people advise to disclose them, but be prepared to provide proof that they were expunged and dismissed. It's worth sitting down with a local attorney to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/4/2010
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Have it expunged.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
Law Offices of Phil Hache
Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
You can petition the Court to get your convictions "expunged" (which is a fancy word for dismissed). There are many benefits to this. Call me if you have any additional questions or would like help handling this.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
There are many companies that maintain a data base of Criminal Records. There is no effective way of erasing or blocking access to them. The only thing that can be done is to expunge them. That will not erase but will dismiss them We would be happy to explain that process to you or represent you in that procedure. Call us to set up an appointment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/3/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    The general rules and guidelines are:

    Records are forever. However, many felony and misdemeanor convictions [not infractions] can sometimes be expunged by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no prison time served or even sentenced, if it was not for certain sex and Domestic Violence crimes, if all terms of sentencing and probation [and at least one year of probation] are completed and finished, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively withdrawn and the charges dismissed. That does not remove the conviction, but merely changes the record to show conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement. If expunged, you would be able to say no to conviction on most private employment applications. However, the conviction is still a prior for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing and employment because of your conviction. If you are serious about doing so, and you think you qualify, feel free to contact me for the legal help you will need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
    The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
    Yes. You can get misdemeanor convictions "expunged" under Penal Code 1203.4. It is a very simple straightforward process that this office handles on a routine basis.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Law Office of Joseph Galasso
    Law Office of Joseph Galasso | Joseph Galasso
    You can file a Penal Code section 1203.4 motion to expunge your criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    If it was 5 years ago, you are likely no longer on probation. Assuming you had successfully completed probation (no violations), you should be eligible for file a petition for expungement. Consult a criminal defense attorney regarding expungement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Wise Law Group
    Wise Law Group | Michael J. Wise, Esq
    You may be able to obtain an expungement. That should preclude employers from seeing the prior criminal conduct on a civilian back ground check. However, there are some limitations and some requirements which you should discuss with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2010
    Steven Mandell
    Steven Mandell | Law Offices of Steven Mandell
    This is a complex question and depends a lot on what you actually have on your record. Your record can be analyzed so that decisions can be made about what to do and how to do it. There is no simple or easy answer available at this time, but you should know that there may be a great deal that can be done to clean up your record. If you'd like to talk to me about this further, don't hesitate to call for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    Law Office of William M. Concidine
    Law Office of William M. Concidine | William Concidine
    You may not be able to remove the prior offenses from your record completely but there are steps you can take to sanitize them and have it appear better to potential employers. The first thing to look into would be obtaining an expungement for each offense you have.If you obtain an expungement that would show up on your record that you received an expungement and that helps when employers see it. The next step would be to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation, and finally a pardon from the governor (which is very difficult).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    If you were under 18 at the time your record can be sealed. If you were over 18 your record can be expunged. Please understand that an expungement will show as a dismissal but will not erase your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
    Law Offices of Staycie R. Sena
    Law Offices of Staycie R. Sena | Staycie R. Sena
    Your case can be expunged. Please call me to discuss or visit my site.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/2/2010
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