In California a Defendant is entitled to a dismissal following successful completion of probation or earlier if discharged from probation before the end of the probationary period. (Penal Code Section 1203.4) However, a dismissal under the provisions of PC 1203.4 does not expunge the conviction from the record. Expungement commonly means: destroy, wipe out, strike from the record or erase the conviction completely from any record. In California there isn’t any expungement available to a Defendant. Once a Defendant has been convicted the conviction is not going to be erased from the public record.
The available relief to a Defendant in a criminal case following a conviction is afforded under PC1203.4. It WILL do the following:
1: Set aside the verdict or plea;
2: Allows the Defendant to tell future employers that they haven’t been convicted. It should be noted that any job which requires a government issued license, certificate, or permit, or involves high level security the conviction and dismissal must be disclosed regardless of the granting of the 1203.4 Petition.
3: If you are planning on seeking a pardon this is a condition that must be met first.
It is very important to understand that there are several things the PC1203.4 Petition will NOT do.
The granting of the dismissal will NOT do the following:
1: Clear your record with law enforcement;
2: Allow you to possess a firearm if you have been denied such a right due to the conviction;
3: Seal the court file from public view;
4: Prevent the use of the conviction against you to attack your credibility if you appear as a witness:
5: Prevent the immigration authorities from using it against you in any deportation proceedings.
Even though the PC 1203.4 Petition doesn’t solve all of one’s issues after a conviction it is a good idea to seek one through the court. Perhaps the overriding benefit of the dismissal following the PC 1203.4 Petition being granted is that it shows you care and your rehabilitation is complete. The process requires the court to be involved and you can be greatly assisted in your efforts to get the petition granted by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer.