Should I attempt to remove a minor in possession of alcohol charge from my record? 12 Answers as of January 23, 2011

I know this is a comparatively trivial inquiry. But when I was attending college in the Bay Area, I was cited for a minor in possession of alcohol charge. I attended court, pled guilty, and patiently waited for my license to be reinstated after the mandatory year-long suspension. Since graduation, this has not been an issue in terms of procuring employment.

Here is the long and the short of it: would it be worthwhile to attempt to get this charge removed from my record? If so, why? My sincerest thanks for your invaluable time and input.

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Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
I would definitely file a Penal Code section 1203.4, 'Motion to Dismiss'. I would also definitely seal your juvenile record, if you have one. Definitely.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/23/2011
The Law Office of Sam Salhab
The Law Office of Sam Salhab | Samer Salhab
Absolutely. There is nothing like a "clean" record. Just because it as not been an issue until now doesn't mean that this will be the case later in life. If you would like, please contact my office for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/22/2011
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
Yes, it would benefit you to "expunge" your record. If you do this, you do not have to put down the conviction when applying for a private job. If you apply for a state or government job, you have to put down the conviction. The benefit is that you also put down that the conviction has been expunged.

It seems you qualify to have your conviction expunged.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/22/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
I am delighted toanswer your inquiry. This is the most polite inquiry I have ever received. Most people think they have it coming to them. So as a reward you will get a thoughtful answer.

If you were NOT a minor at the time is different than if you were. A conviction as a minor drops off at your 18thbirthday and does not show on a permanent record. You might want to contact the juvenile court where you were convicted - better still go on down there and ask the clerk to let you see your file and ask if the record has been destroyed. If it has not write me again.

Though I realize you were a minor let me tell you why, if you were an adult at the time of a similar offense (like drunk in public) it would be a colossal waste of time and money. Google California Penal Code and look at 1203.4. All the so-called "relief" gets you is the right to state you have never been convicted of anything. But an employer cannot legally ask you about anything other than felony convictions (tho most of them today require you to sign a waiver letting them look at your criminal history. So it really gets you nothing. People think that it is somehow erased from a big book in Sacramento - not so. What happens is that there is a notation on your rap sheet which states the arrest and conviction and then says "relief pursuant to PC 1203.4 granted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
It's always a good idea to have a criminal conviction expunged. Since it happened so long ago, and you likely completed probation successfully, expunging it should not be difficult. Contact a defense attorney to help you out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/21/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    You can petition to seal the record and have it destroyed. Otherwise records are forever and will follow you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    You can't ever really "remove" convictions from your record, but you can seek an "expungement". Under Penal Code section 1203.4, you can request to withdraw the plea and have charges dismissed if you successfully completed probation. What's the advantage? If a case is dismissed (expunged), you do not have to disclose it on most job applications.

    There are exceptions for certain licenses, government jobs, police work, etc, but to most private employers, you could legally answer "no" when asked if you had any convictions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I recommend getting the conviction expunged from your record. Although it has not been an issue for you employment wise so far, it may be an issue in the future depending on the employer. Once expunged, generally speaking, for public employers (ie. not government agencies, professional licenses, etc.), you would not have to list the conviction on a job application. I recommend speaking to an attorney in more detail about the expungement to get a full explanation of the benefits, and consider hiring an attorney to assist you in the expungement process if you feel uncomfortable with it. You can call me If you would like to speak to me about it in further detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    Criminal background checks are conducted by a large number of people and agencies. If your MIP ticket is not something you mind others seeing then there is no real reason for you to have it removed. However, if you would like the peace of mind of having your record cleared and being able to legally state that you have never been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony then you should definitely have it expunged.

    Feel free to contact our office with any additional questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation
    West Themis Law, A Professional Law Corporation | Sally S. Chan, Esq.
    Yes. Remove it. Off the top of my head, I have 2 good reasons why:

    1) You never know whether you'd be in trouble with the law again. Sealing this case will put you in better standing and/or negotiations with any later case. The cost of sealing cases in California is normally less than $900. That is well worth it.

    2) Even though you do not have issues with employment, this can become an issue in the future if you wish to obtain professional licenses. If this is sealed as a matter of law, you will not be required to disclose it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    Tomas M. Flores, Esq.
    Tomas M. Flores, Esq. | Tomas M. Flores
    It's about a $1,200 job to do - involving a motion, court hearing, and possible reply brief in response to an objection from the DA's office.

    If the conviction costs you a $60,000/year job - $1,200 might be a good investment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
    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 of the arrest you want to make sure that your record was sealed. If you were over 18 at the time of the arrest I would suggest getting the record expunged. It will show the case as being dismissed and although it is not hurting you in employment prospects it will be beneficial for you down the road.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/21/2011
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