Admitting Your Criminal Conviction on School Applications (PC 1203.4)
Having a criminal record can create a lot of obstacles in your life. From finding gainful employment to buying the house of your dreams to something as simple as getting a credit card, a criminal history can lead employers and lenders to doubt your trustworthiness and dependability. One of the best ways to begin moving forward in your life is to clean up your criminal record, and one of the best ways to do that is through an expungement. Under California Penal Code Section 1203.4, when your record is expunged, all accusations against you are dismissed and you are released from all resulting “penalties and disabilities.”
Once your criminal record is expunged, you do not have to disclose that you were convicted of a crime when you apply for most jobs. When a potential employer, school or licensure runs a criminal background check, your record will show your arrest, your conviction and the dismissal of your conviction in “the interest of justice.”
Under California Labor Code Section 432.7, an employer or potential employer is not legally allowed to question you about an arrest unless it led to a conviction. When your record is expunged, you do not have to disclose that you were convicted of that crime, and they cannot hold the expunged conviction against you.
But what happens when you apply for college? Do the same rules apply?
School Applications and Expungement (California Penal Code Section 1203.4)
When you apply to a college, university or trade school, the admissions office may run a criminal background check and find your conviction. Unlike employment laws that prevent an employer from holding a conviction against you after your record is expunged, schools are not prevented from taking your criminal history into consideration during admittance or while you are enrolled. Schools are also not barred from asking you about the arrest or conviction.
If you are asked in a college application if you have been convicted of a crime, you must answer yes even if the conviction was expunged. However, having your record expunged may still help you in this case. The admissions office will likely look up your conviction and find that it was later dismissed.
Expungement, State Licensing, Public Office and Professional Organizations
California Penal Code Section 1203.4 says that after your record is expunged there are still certain situations where you must disclose your conviction. If you are applying for a state or local license, such as a real estate license, a license to practice medicine a law in California, or even a contractor’s license, you must disclose your conviction when the application asks about your criminal background. If you run for any type of public office, you must admit your conviction, and you will also have to admit to your conviction if you plan on doing any type of contracting for the lottery commission.
The law does not require that you disclose your conviction if you want to join a professional organization, such as the California State Bar Association. However, most professional organizations conduct a background check before seating members. Having your record expunged can help if you are looking to join a professional group, organization or association.
Want to Clean Your Record? Call Wallin & Klarich Today
At Wallin & Klarich, we understand that a criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life. Our criminal defense attorneys have been successfully helping clients clean up their criminal records for over 30 years. We can help you move forward in your life so you can get the job you want or the loan you need. Let us help you with cleaning up your criminal record by speaking with one of our attorneys today.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego, Torrance and Sherman Oaks., there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense available near you no matter where you work or live.
Please call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.