Is a dismissal in California the same as an expungement?

UPDATED: Nov 14, 2018

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Is a dismissal in California the same as an expungement?

I had a criminal offense from years ago dismissed under PC 1203.4 and I’m
wondering if it is the same as it be expunged? Will it still show up on a
background check? Even one provided by the FBI?

Asked on November 14, 2018 under Criminal Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Dismissal is NOT expungement. Dismissal means that the charges were dismissed, you  were not convicted, and you were not punished--but the fact that cases were initially brought against you will still show up in a background check. Expungement means that a case  is erased like it never existed; only if a case is expunged will not appear on a background check. You should contact a criminal defense attorney to inquire into whether you can expunge this charge; if you can, the lawyer can help you do it.

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 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.

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