In today’s economic hard times, our firm receives numerous inquiries about clearing one’s criminal record. The concern expressed is almost always that a prospective employer may reject a job applicant who has a criminal record, or pass over an existing employee for a promotion or pay raise on the same basis.
Ten years ago, very few employers did background checks on prospective employees. Nowadays, however, it is relatively inexpensive, quick and may be required for the employer’s commercial and/or liability insurance. Professional organizations, AYSO soccer, the Boy Scouts of America and other organizations also do background checks.
Expungement is seemingly well known method for having a court order that a prior guilty or no contest plea be set aside and replaced with a not guilty plea and dismissal of the case. Perhaps more importantly, one who receives an expungement under Penal Code § 1203.4 can legally answer any job application asking about a conviction with “no.” This not only improves one’s job prospects and further promotion chances, but removes the stigma associated with having any conviction.
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