If your case is dismissed, this must surely mean that you have no criminal record – right? You were not found guilty of a crime in California and you’re ready to move on with your life. However, as much as you would love for things to work that way, they usually don’t. There is a big difference between a conviction and a criminal record.
Many people believe that, just because their charges were dismissed, they have no official criminal record. But this is not fully true. A dismissal means that a conviction has not occurred yes, but you will still have your record placed onto the Board of Probation record within your state. Anytime that you have been arraigned on a criminal charge, even if your case is dismissed, the charges will show up on that record. The unfortunate truth is that, because of this creation of a record, employers and landlords may not want to hear more about why you have received a conviction and may refuse to listen to your side of the story even further. This means that you could still be denied that home you wanted, or that job that you want. The creation of a criminal record to any extent is enough to create damage in your life.
Working Out an Exchange in Court
Many people who have been accused of a crime will show up at court and work out an agreement with a prosecutor. The prosecution in your case may try to work out a dismissal based on the premise that you will perform community service or pay restitution to the victims of your crime. This does not automatically mean that you are “off the hook,” so to speak. The charge will continue to remain on your record until you file a petition to have the case sealed. This means that you could be carrying a big burden around for some time, which nobody wants to have to deal with.
Now that you understand your criminal record and how charges could still show up on said record, you may want to move forward with sealing your record, so you should talk to an attorney immediately to find out if you qualify to do so and how this process works. At the Law Office of Peter Blair, we have experience with these types of cases and can help in your time of need. Call us today for more on how we can offer a helping hand.