If a criminal charge was dismissed and expunged, in the eyes of the law is it as though it never happened?

I was charged with a crime but it never went to trial because it was

dismissed. Then I had the case expunged.

Asked on August 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, when a criminal charge is expunged, in the eyes of the law it is as though it never exisited. Therefore, you can truthfully answer "No" on most job applications if asked about a criminal history record. That having been said, when applying for some military and law enforcement positions, this dismissed and expunged charge may still show up. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

That is correct: when a case is expunged, it is as if it never occured. The purpose of expungement is to give the person a fresh or new chance, free from the stigma of a criminal record. That purpose would be defeated if you had to disclose the existence of the crime at all. You may check the box "no."


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.