How long does it take for a misdemeanor to completely vanish from your record in California?

O.k., here's the deal, I am now 25 years old and have 2 misdemeanors which have now been expunged. The first misdemeanor was a "carrying a concealed weapon" charge when I was 18 years old, it was a dagger. The second was a disturbing the peace charge, thanks to my ex-wife, when i was 22 years old. It was initially a domestic battery charge but got dropped to disturbing the peace, I honestly did not hit her but she said that I choked her, so the police took her word and arrested me. I am desperately trying to get into law enforcement in the Los Angeles area and have trouble doing so because of my record. I heard that it takes 7 years for a misdemeanor to vanish, can anyone confirm that? I just need a straight no B.S. answer. Thanks.

8 Answers

  • John S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I assume that you got relief under Penal Code section 1203.4. Contrary to what Eric says, PC 12020 is a "wobbler" (it can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor), and, at any rate, even felonies are subject to PC 1203.4.

    What the effect of PC 1203.4 relief is as to private employers is unclear, though I believe that you can tell a private employer that you have not been convicted. However, you must tell a public employer (and a police department is a public employer) that there was a conviction which was dismissed under PC 1203.4. They are not supposed to consider that conviction in making employment decisions, but I cannot guarantee that they won't.

    Other than the relief available under PC 1203.4, there is nothing else, short of a pardon, which will take these convictions off your record.

    Note, also, that the disturbing the peace conviction may still be considered a domestic violence offense by FEDERAL authorities. If so, there is a federal prohibition upon your possession of a firearm, which will obviously disqualify you from law enforcement. PC 1203.4 relief does not affect that federal law. It would be a good idea to talk this over with an attorney familiar with that law (I am not) before you go further.

    Source(s): 30+ years as a criminal defense attorney
  • spag
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    First and foremost, if you are applying for a law enforcement career, it will never go away. Just because you think you can hide the conviction doesn't mean I can't pull the arrest report, which will always be in the system. Both of these charges are serious for a law enforcement career. As a recent study shows from San Diego dates 2006, 90% of domestic violence cases involving choking eventually ended up with a dead victim later. This is a pretty big issue to overcome, especially in California. Go pull your police record and see what shows up there. At least you will know what the general population will see. Good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Criminal records are FOREVER.

    They do NOT "go away" over time.

    Only a Judge can "expunge" your record, and only after petitioning the court to do so and hearing your case and the judge agreeing you deserve a clean slate, from 18 to 25 years old the judge wouldn't even hear your case, come back in 30 years or so after being a model citizen with out even getting so much as a speeding ticket and they "might" expunge your record.

    No judge in his right mind would vacate a weapons charge or a domestic assault charge, btw with these on your record you sound like a great candidate for officer, you'd fit right in with the rest of the psychopaths they call cops.

    Btw, if you were to get your record "expunged" it goes away like it never happened and nobody would ever know about it, and if they did they would be required to ignore it. expunged is 100% and its complete. Who ever said some people could still see it is incorrect and un-educated in the law of this country.

  • 1 decade ago

    It will not vanish as far as an LE background check is concerned. Never.

    They do not ask, "Have you ever been convicted?"

    They ask "Have you ever been arrested, or questioned by the police?"

    You lie, you're done. Liars will not, cannot, be hired. Tell the truth and work it out with them. Access to your records, permanent records, is always there.

    12020PC for that "Dirk or Dagger" is a felony anyways.

    Source(s): CA cop.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Once a misdemeanor has been expunged by the courts, it is hidden from public view, and is hidden from Govt view EXCEPT for a few special cases.

    One of those special cases is applying for a law enforcement job. You must disclose ALL convictions, even if expunged, when applying for a police job.

    Best is to fully disclose, and then explain.


  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    I don't think it will ever come off your record. 20 years from now if you are picked up for assault they will read that record and tell you that this is your second time for this crime.

  • blind
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Do Misdemeanors Go Away

  • 1 decade ago

    1000 years

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