CALIFORNIA Criminal Record: Does expungement make a difference?

  1. I know this issue has been beaten into the ground, but I'm just looking for specific info for California and expungement. Does anyone know if an expunged record must still be reported in California? I was told by someone in the legal profession that a background check in California does not reveal any arrests/convictions that are more than 7 years old. Does anyone know if this is true? I was arrested for a stupid mistake as an 18 year old kid. Eleven years later, I've finished my BA, become a "productive" citizen, and haven't been in any kind of trouble since (not even a traffic ticket). Realistically, what are my chances of being accepted to nursing school, let alone get my license? Is that an automatic disqualification? Or do they take the crime (misdemeanor petty theft) and the fact that it happened so long ago and when I was still I high school into consideration?

    Also, does an expunged record make a difference? Regardless if it does, I'd like to do this anyway. Does anyone know how would I go about getting my record expunged? Thanks in advance for any advice!
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   Havin' A Party!
    Not familiar with CA law. But the basic idea behind expungement, generally, is that it removes any record of the former accusation / conviction... it's as if it never happened... and, therefore, need not be reported thereafter.

    However, my overall sense is that if you're looking to expunge a record that's been on the books for years, just because you've had no further run-ins with the legal system in the interim, then you may be in for a difficult time. Usually expungement rules apply to situations much closer in time to the original transgression, and under very specific criteria. Still, you may wanna check out the actual CA procedural rules.

    Nevertheless, that the act in question took place when you were so young and that your intervening record is "clean" are significant points to highlight should expungement not be available.

    Good luck!

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