If you commit a misdemeanor prior to your 18th birthday, such as disturbing the peace or petty theft, your record by filing the appropriate motion, will be expunged on your 18th birthday. However, this is not the case with felonies, especially if committed by an adult. Even if you are not convicted of a crime, an arrest record may still exist, which may be problematic on background checks when you look for a job.

Misdemeanor crimes tend not to bar one from working in public law enforcement or armed forces. Some felonies committed by minors may be overlooked as long as the individual can prove changed behavior. In many cases, however, felony convictions bars one from working for most military branches, and might also influence one’s ability to pass security clearance for jobs in the private sector. Regardless of whether a crime is classified as a misdemeanor or felony, certain crimes will bar one from employment in certain fields. Any crimes that require sex registration means one cannot teach and be employed in a job that requires regular contact with children.

Getting a conviction expunged will have many benefits especially if you have been convicted of a felony. For example, most employers cannot consider a conviction that has been expunged (dismissed). Once your case is expunged, it is no longer considered a conviction and California Labor Code, Section 432.7(a) prohibits employers from asking an applicant to disclose information concerning an arrest or detention that did not result in conviction, or information concerning a referral to, and participation in, any pre-trial or post-trial diversion program. An employer may not seek from any other source or utilize, as a factor in determining any condition of employment, including hiring. An employer who violates this section is liable for a criminal prosecution, plus fines and attorney fees.

What happens after your record is expunged? You will receive a court order setting aside your conviction and dismissing your case. Criminal record databases, such as the Department of Justice, FBI, INS, will be updated to reflect that your conviction was set aside and your case was dismissed.

What shows up when someone does a background check? It depends on the type of search. A “hard” search involves you authorizing a government agency to release your records and you providing fingerprints. This type of search will show that court case existed, the criminal charges filed against you, and a dismissal (if you get your case expunged), with no finding of guilt and no conviction. A “soft” search, which is the norm for many employers, utilizes a private company to search for convictions. This type of search will in many case, show nothing at all and if so, it will simply show that a case existed against you, the charges and a dismissal with no finding of guilt and no conviction.

The benefit of a felony reduction and expungement entitles you to lawfully state that you have never been convicted of a felony. It will also allow you to restore or remove roadblocks to certain professional licenses and enable you to apply for certain loans and government benefits. After a felony reduction and expungement, you are no longer an “ex-felon.” This is an enormous benefit for the rest of your life.

CategoryCriminal Law