Your criminal record will show arrests and convictions. Some of these can negatively affect your ability to get hired when seeking a job. There are ways to clean up your record.
Expungment. There is no true expungment in California. What people refer to as expungment is really petitioning the court where a guilty plea or conviction, or a no contest plea are withdrawn and the case is dismissed. This can be done for infractions and most misdemeanors and felonies. If the probation period has run and there have been no violations, in most cases the court will grant these petitions. For some violations the court must find there is an interest of justice before granting the petition. Once a case is dismissed you can answer a question on a job application about misdemeanor or felony convictions with “No”. A prospective employer cannot consider the conviction in hiring an individual. (Penal code section 1203 et seq.)
Early Termination of Probation. In some cases the court will grant early termination of probation. There must be strong reasons for a court to grant this type of petition. The closer to the end of the probationary period, the greater the chance for early termination.
Juvenille records. Once a person has turned 18 and is no longer a ward of the court or on probation, he or she can have his or her record sealed. This will prevent anyone from learning about any juvenile action. There are commitments which cannot be seals, but most can be.
Arrests. If a case is not prosecuted, the arrest can be deemed a detention or can be sealed.
It is more difficult to seal an arrest. For those cases, the police have to agree or the court must find that the person is factually innocent. This is more difficult to prove. I have been successful in having a client found factually innocent and the arrest sealed where my client was arrested for being under the influence of a drug. Blood tests showed my client had nothing in her system.
If a case is not prosecuted, the police and department of justice record should show that the person was detained, not arrested. (Penal code section 849) A person can petition the court to seal his or her arrest record if they are not prosecuted. (Penal code section 851.91)
Diversions. After successful completion of diversion programs under PC 1000 and other misdemeanor diversions, the arrest record can be sealed. (Penal code section 1000 and 1001 et seq.)
Some Felony charges can be reduced to a misdemeanor prior to dismissal. (Penal code section 17b)
I have successfully had clients cases expunged, dismissed, sealed, deemed a detention and reduced. I will be happy to let you know if your case would be eligible and that the process would involved.