Should I get my domestic violence felony charge expunged? 10 Answers as of August 10, 2011

I was arrested 3 months ago for felony domestic violence in California with a 25000 bail and 2500 bond i am currently paying off. I have 1000 to go. My fiance had put his hands on me hurting me and I defended myself. However he was bleeding when the police arrived and the officer said "I’m tired of women getting away with this kind of abuse." Clearly a rooky. But despite I have gone to the background portion of becoming a police clerk. I have passed the test and become eligible. I am wondering whether the background will show this arrest, and will it bar me from getting this job. Can I have this expunged or sealed? The charges were dismissed but I'm concerned. Thank you.

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Dismissed charges cannot be expunged since expungement means withdrawing a plea of guilty or record of conviction, substituting a not guilty plea and then having the case dismissed. There is a procedure to petition the court for a declaration of factual innocence but they are very difficult to obtain. For such a job the police will have access to your arrest and you will probably need to explain the circumstance notwithstanding the fact it was dismissed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/10/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Only an actual conviction can be expunged. If the charges were dismissed then you don't have anything to worry about.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/10/2011
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
The only thing you can do to get the arrest off your record is through a finding of factual innocence. Please understand that these are not very easy to obtain. The agency will be aware of the arrest but since it did not lead to a conviction it may not be a problem.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
Robert Mortland
Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
You will not have a conviction on your record because the case was dismissed. However, the arrest will always remain on your record. You can file a petition of factual innocence and have that motion argued in front of a judge but these are very difficult to win because you must prove that there was no probable cause to arrest you at all. This is difficult because it is a very low standard to arrest.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/9/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
If you werent actually convicted, you have nothing to expunge. That would generally be the case in a diversion and deferred entry of judgment situation, with dismissal ordered if you complete the program and other terms imposed. Yes, all arrests [and convictions] show on your permanent record in background checks. Arrests can not be expunged. You could contact the agency you are interested in to discuss whether the arrest would allow you to be employed. FYI, if you had been convicted. The general rule is: Records are forever. However, you can consider getting a conviction expunged; which would help in obtaining and keeping employment. A conviction can be 'expunged' from criminal records, but ONLY IF there was no felony prison time sentenced, whether served or not, and if it was not for certain listed Sexual crimes, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. Expungement does NOT clear, 'remove' or erase the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on applications for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc., which would include the Police Dept.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    California doesn't have any sealing or true expungements. If you were convicted (I know you weren't), then you could seek an "expungement" (actually a dismissal under Penal Code section 1203.4) and add a notation that it was dismissed. The only way to get things truly off your record is if the court grants a petition for factual innocence. If granted, that seals the records for a period of years, then destroys and erases the entry. That's under Penal Code section 851.8.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Can't "expunge" an arrest. Can move for finding of factual innocence, a tricky procedure, and that is what you should do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    If it was dismissed, then there is nothing to expunge. Only "convictions" can be expunged. No worries.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    If the charges were dismissed then you do not have a conviction to be expunged. In a job application where it asks if you have ever been convicted of a crime you can put no.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You are more likely to have your expungement motion granted if you complete the term of your probation period. It is up to your employer on whether or not this charge and subsequent conviction will bar you from getting a job at the police department.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
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