Criminal Convictions and Job Applications in California

If you have a criminal conviction in your past and wonder how to handle it in an upcoming job application or employment interview, you've come to the right place.

We're former cops and prosecutors who now work as criminal defense attorneys.1 We represent people accused of crimes and we also help people clean up their criminal records.  In this article, our California Criminal Defense Attorneys cover:

1. Do I have to disclose my criminal conviction on a job application?
2. What about arrests?
3. What if my conviction has been expunged?
4. What about juvenile arrests and adjudications?
5. What if I did diversion for a drug offense under Penal Code 1000?

If you have further questions about criminal convictions and job applications after reading this article, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group for a consultation.

You might also be interested in reading our related articles on Rap Sheets in California, Criminal Records Background Checks in California, Right to Carry a Firearm in California, Definition of Felony Crime in California, Definition of Misdemeanor Crime in California, Expungements of Criminal Records in California, Sealing Juvenile Records in California, Convictions and Professional Licenses in California, Sex Crimes in California, California Welfare Fraud, Drug Crimes in California, Drug Diversion Under California Penal Code 1000 pc, California Health & Safety 11350 hs Possession of a Controlled Substance, and California Health & Safety 11364 hs Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

1. Do I have to disclose my criminal conviction on a job application?

Whether or not you have to disclose a past conviction for a
felony crime in California or misdemeanor crime in California is a complicated question.  The answer depends on a number of variables including whether a specific statute covers the issue, what kind of job you are applying for and the precise way the question is worded.

As a general rule, it is important to note that honesty is a good policy.  If you answer something untruthfully and the potential employer finds out, you may be in a worse situation than if you had told the truth...because now the employer will perceive you as having a problem with honesty as well as the law.  Not many people want to hire someone who is untrustworthy.

That said, the law provides for protections when it comes to certain kinds of past arrests and convictions.  The California Labor Code2 and the California Code of Regulations3 provide that for the most part private employers are not supposed to ask job applicants about:

  • Arrests that did not lead to convictions
  • Convictions that have been expunged
  • Juvenile sustained petitions and juvenile arrests that have been sealed
  • Arrests for which you have successfully completed
    drug diversion under PC 1000

It is important to remember there are many exceptions to these rules.  Given the complexity of the law in the area of convictions and job applications, it is always wise to consult with a knowledgeable attorney about your specific circumstances.

Our California Criminal Defense Attorneys can go over your criminal history and whatever job application you are filling out.  We can help you understand what should be disclosed and what need not be disclosed.  We can also do mock job interviews to help you prepare for a face-to-face employment interview.

2. What about arrests?

The law says that most private employers cannot ask you about a past arrest that did not lead to a conviction (unless you are out on bail in California or out on your own recognizance pending trial).4

So, for example, suppose Erika is applying for a job as a sales associate at a big-box company in Los Angeles.  Does she have to disclose that she was arrested five years ago for California welfare fraud?

Turns out Erika does not need to disclose that past arrest so long as she was never convicted for it.  The law prohibits the big-box store from asking her about past arrests that did not lead to convictions.

Note, however, that if you are applying for a job as a peace officer, the relevant agency may be able to ask you about past arrest information.  (In any event, the agency might discover the information by accessing your rap sheet in California or because you are unable to fulfill a condition of employment because you no longer enjoy the right to carry a firearm in California)5.

Further, specific kinds of employers can ask about arrests that could be relevant to that kind of employer.  If the job involves access to patients, health care facilities can ask about arrests for certain sex crimes in California.  If the job involves access to narcotics, the employer can ask about arrests for certain
drug crimes in California.6

For a more detailed discussion about who can access your official "record of arrests and prosecutions" in California, please see our related article Rap Sheets in California.

3. What if my conviction has been expunged?

When you expunge a conviction in California, the conviction is "dismissed in the interest of justice" and you are relieved of the penalties and liabilities associated with it.  That means that for the most part potential employers are prohibited from inquiring about expunged convictions in California.

In fact, many people apply for an Expungement of Criminal Records in California for this very reason...so they do not have to tell a future employer about a past conviction.

So, for example, let's return to our example of Erika, who is applying for a job with a big-box store in Los Angeles.  If Erika was convicted of California welfare fraud five years ago, instead of just arrested (but never convicted) of it, does she need to disclose it to the big-box store?

Well, it depends on whether she has expunged the conviction.  The company can ask Erika to disclose past convictions, but the company can't inquire about any convictions that have been expunged.  As long as Erika has gotten the conviction expunged she does not need to disclose it.

But even expungements have limitations.  The California Penal Code specifically states that an expungement:  "does not relieve [the person getting the expungement] of the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.7

Therefore, if Erika plans to seek a license from a state professional licensing board, such as a license to become a nurse or dentist or real estate agent, she may have to disclose past convictions even if they have been expunged.

Please see our related article on Convictions and Professional Licenses in California for more information on how criminal convictions can impact state professional licenses in California.

4. What about juvenile arrests and adjudications?

When it comes to juvenile arrests and juvenile adjudications in California, so long as you have sealed those juvenile records they should remain inaccessible to most employers.8

Please note that juvenile records are not automatically sealed when you turn 18.  You have to apply to have those records sealed, as we discuss in our article Sealing Juvenile Records in California.9

5. What if I did diversion for a drug offense under Penal Code 1000?

If you were charged with a nonviolent, "personal use" drug crime in California (like California Health & Safety 11350 hs Possession of a Controlled Substance or California Health & Safety 11364 hs Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) and successfully completed a deferred entry of judgment drug diversion program, you don't need to disclose that conviction to most potential employers.

The law provides that after completing Drug Diversion Under California Penal Code 1000 pc, "the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred shall be deemed to have never occurred."  Once you complete drug diversion under California Penal Code 1000 pc, you can truthfully state that you have never been arrested or granted deferred entry of judgment for the offense.10

So, let's return to Erika.  If five years ago Erika was convicted for possession of a controlled substance under California Health & Safety 11350 hs, instead of fraud, so long as she successfully completed a deferred entry of judgment program drug diversion program, she won't be required to disclose it to the big-box store.

(Note, however, that law enforcement agencies can still access information related to drug diversion convictions.  Additionally, certain state professional licensing agencies may be able to pursue action based upon misconduct resulting in drug diversion.)11

Our California Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help...
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If you or loved one is in need of help with job applications and criminal convictions and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

We also invite you to review our related articles on Criminal Records Background Checks in California, Right to Carry a Firearm in California, Definition of Felony Crime in California, Definition of Misdemeanor Crime in California, Expungements of Criminal Records in California, Sealing Juvenile Records in California, Convictions and Professional Licenses in California, Sex Crimes in California, Drug Crimes in California, Drug Diversion Under California Penal Code 1000 pc, California Welfare Fraud, California Health & Safety 11350 hs Possession of a Controlled Substance, and California Health & Safety 11364 hs Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Helpful links:

National Employment Law Project

The Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Orange County Public Defender New Leaf Program

References:

1 Our California Criminal Defense Attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina and Whittier.  We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

2 California Labor Code Section 432.7 provides:  "(a) No employer, whether a public agency or private individual or corporation, shall ask an applicant for employment to disclose, through any written form or verbally, information concerning an arrest or detention that did not result in conviction, or information concerning a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or posttrial diversion program, nor shall any employer seek from any source whatsoever, or utilize, as a factor in determining any condition of employment including hiring, promotion, termination, or any apprenticeship training program or any other training program leading to employment, any record of arrest or detention that did not result in conviction, or any record regarding a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or posttrial diversion program.   As used in this section, a conviction shall include a plea, verdict, or finding of guilt regardless of whether sentence is imposed by the court.  Nothing in this section shall prevent an employer from asking an employee or applicant for employment about an arrest for which the employee or applicant is out on bail or on his or her own recognizance pending trial.  (b) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the disclosure of the information authorized for release under Sections 13203 and 13300 of the Penal Code, to a government agency employing a peace officer.  However, the employer shall not determine any condition of employment other than paid administrative leave based solely on an arrest report.  The information contained in an arrest report may be used as the starting point for an independent, internal investigation of a peace officer in accordance with Chapter 9.7 (commencing with Section 3300) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.  (c) In any case where a person violates this section, or Article 6 (commencing with Section 11140) of Chapter 1 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code, the applicant may bring an action to recover from that person actual damages or two hundred dollars ($200), whichever is greater, plus costs, and reasonable attorney's fees.  An intentional violation of this section shall entitle the applicant to treble actual damages, or five hundred dollars ($500), whichever is greater, plus costs, and reasonable attorney's fees.  An intentional violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500).  (d) The remedies under this section shall be in addition to and not in derogation of all other rights and remedies that an applicant may have under any other law.  (e) Persons seeking employment or persons already employed as peace officers or persons seeking employment for positions in the Department of Justice or other criminal justice agencies as defined in Section 13101 of the Penal Code are not covered by this section.  (f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employer at a health facility, as defined in Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, from asking an applicant for employment either of the following:  (1) With regard to an applicant for a position with regular access to patients, to disclose an arrest under any section specified in Section 290 of the Penal Code.  (2) With regard to an applicant for a position with access to drugs and medication, to disclose an arrest under any section specified in Section 11590 of the Health and Safety Code.  (g) (1) No peace officer or employee of a law enforcement agency with access to criminal offender record information maintained by a local law enforcement criminal justice agency shall knowingly disclose, with intent to affect a person's employment, any information contained therein pertaining to an arrest or detention or proceeding that did not result in a conviction, including information pertaining to a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or posttrial diversion program, to any person not authorized by law to receive that information.  (2) No other person authorized by law to receive criminal offender record information maintained by a local law enforcement criminal justice agency shall knowingly disclose any information received therefrom pertaining to an arrest or detention or proceeding that did not result in a conviction, including information pertaining to a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or posttrial diversion program, to any person not authorized by law to receive that information.  (3) No person, except those specifically referred to in Section 1070 of the Evidence Code, who knowing he or she is not authorized by law to receive or possess criminal justice records information maintained by a local law enforcement criminal justice agency, pertaining to an arrest or other proceeding that did not result in a conviction, including information pertaining to a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or posttrial diversion program, shall receive or possess that information.  (h) "A person authorized by law to receive that information," for purposes of this section, means any person or public agency authorized by a court, statute, or decisional law to receive information contained in criminal offender records maintained by a local law enforcement criminal justice agency, and includes, but is not limited to, those persons set forth in Section 11105 of the Penal Code, and any person employed by a law enforcement criminal justice agency who is required by that employment to receive, analyze, or process criminal offender record information.  (i) Nothing in this section shall require the Department of Justice to remove entries relating to an arrest or detention not resulting in conviction from summary criminal history records forwarded to an employer pursuant to law.   (j) As used in this section, "pretrial or posttrial diversion program" means any program under Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1000) or Chapter 2.7 (commencing with Section 1001) of Title 6 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, Section 13201 or 13352.5 of the Vehicle Code, or any other program expressly authorized and described by statute as a diversion program.  (k) (1) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to any city, city and county, county, or district, or any officer or official thereof, in screening a prospective concessionaire, or the affiliates and associates of a prospective concessionaire for purposes of consenting to, or approving of, the prospective concessionaire's application for, or acquisition of, any beneficial interest in a concession, lease, or other property interest.  (2) For purposes of this subdivision the following terms have the following meanings:  (A) "Screening" means a written request for criminal history information made to a local law enforcement agency.  (B) "Prospective concessionaire" means any individual, general or limited partnership, corporation, trust, association, or other entity that is applying for, or seeking to obtain, a public agency's consent to, or approval of, the acquisition by that individual or entity of any beneficial ownership interest in any public agency'sconcession, lease, or other property right whether directly or indirectly held. However, "prospective concessionaire" does not include any of the following:  (i) A lender acquiring an interest solely as security for a bona fide loan made in the ordinary course of the lender's business and not made for the purpose of acquisition.  (ii) A lender upon foreclosure or assignment in lieu of foreclosure of the lender's security.  (C) "Affiliate" means any individual or entity that controls, or is controlled by, the prospective concessionaire, or who is under common control with the prospective concessionaire.  (D) "Associate" means any individual or entity that shares a common business purpose with the prospective concessionaire with respect to the beneficial ownership interest that is subject to the consent or approval of the city, county, city and county, or district.  (E) "Control" means the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct, or cause the direction of, the management or policies of the controlled individual or entity.  (l) (1) Nothing in subdivision (a) shall prohibit a public agency, or any officer or official thereof, from denying consent to, or approval of, a prospective concessionaire's application for, or acquisition of, any beneficial interest in a concession, lease, or other property interest based on the criminal history information of the prospective concessionaire or the affiliates or associates of the prospective concessionaire that show any criminal conviction for offenses involving moral turpitude.  Criminal history information for purposes of this subdivision includes any criminal history information obtained pursuant to Section 11105 or 13300 of the Penal Code.  (2) In considering criminal history information, a public agency shall consider the crime for which the prospective concessionaire or the affiliates or associates of the prospective concessionaire was convicted only if that crime relates to the specific business that is proposed to be conducted by the prospective concessionaire.  (3) Any prospective concessionaire whose application for consent or approval to acquire a beneficial interest in a concession, lease, or other property interest is denied based on criminal history information shall be provided a written statement of the reason for the denial.  (4) (A) If the prospective concessionaire submits a written request to the public agency within 10 days of the date of the notice of denial, the public agency shall review its decision with regard to any corrected record or other evidence presented by the prospective concessionaire as to the accuracy or incompleteness of the criminal history information utilized by the public agency in making its original decision.  (B) The prospective concessionaire shall submit the copy or the corrected record of any other evidence to the public agency within 90 days of a request for review.  The public agency shall render its decision within 20 days of the submission of evidence by the prospective concessionaire."

3 California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Section 7287.4 provides:  "(a) Selection and Testing.  Any policy or practice of an employer or other covered entity which has an adverse impact on employment opportunities of individuals on a basis enumerated in the Act is unlawful unless the policy or practice is job-related, as defined in Section 7287.4(e).  The Commission herein adopts the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures promulgated by various federal agencies, including the EEOC and Department of Labor. [29 CFR 1607 (1978)]....(d) Specific Practices.  (1) Criminal Records.  Except as otherwise provided by law (e.g., 12 U.S.C. 1829; Labor Code Section 432.7), it is unlawful for an employer or other covered entity to inquire or seek information regarding any applicant concerning:  (A) Any arrest or detention which did not result in conviction;  (B) Any conviction for which the record has been judicially ordered sealed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated (e.g., juvenile offense records sealed pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 389 and Penal Code Sections 851.7 or 1203.45); any misdemeanor conviction for which probation has been successfully completed or otherwise discharged and the case has been judicially dismissed pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4; or (C) Any arrest for which a pretrial diversion program has been successfully completed pursuant to Penal Code Sections 1000.5 and 1001.5."

4 California Labor Code Section 432.7, supra.

5 California Penal Code Section 13203 provides:  "(a) Any criminal justice agency may release, within five years of the arrest, information concerning an arrest or detention of a peace officer or applicant for a position as a peace officer, as defined in Section 830, which did not result in conviction, and for which the person did not complete a postarrest diversion program, to a government agency employer of that peace officer or applicant.  (b) Any criminal justice agency may release information concerning an arrest of a peace officer or applicant for a position as a peace officer, as defined in Section 830, which did not result in conviction but for which the person completed a postarrest diversion program or a deferred entry of judgment program, or information concerning a referral to and participation in any postarrest diversion program or a deferred entry of judgment program to a government agency employer of that peace officer or applicant.  (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or (b), a criminal justice agency shall not release information under the following circumstances:  (1) Information concerning an arrest for which diversion or deferred entry of judgment has been ordered without attempting to determine whether diversion or a deferred entry of judgment program has been successfully completed.  (2) Information concerning an arrest or detention followed by a dismissal or release without attempting to determine whether the individual was exonerated.  (3) Information concerning an arrest without a disposition without attempting to determine whether diversion or a deferred entry of judgment program has been successfully completed or the individual was exonerated."

6 California Labor Code Section 432.7, supra.

7 California Penal Code Section 1203.4(a) provides:  "In any case in which a defendant has fulfilled the conditions of probation for the entire period of probation, or has been discharged prior to the termination of the period of probation, or in any other case in which a court, in its discretion and the interests of justice, determines that a defendant should be granted the relief available under this section, the defendant shall, at any time after the termination of the period of probation, if he or she is not then serving a sentence for any offense, on probation for any offense, or charged with the commission of any offense, be permitted by the court to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or plea of nolo contendere and enter a plea of not guilty; or, if he or she has been convicted after a plea of not guilty, the court shall set aside the verdict of guilty; and, in either case, the court shall thereupon dismiss the accusations or information against the defendant and except as noted below, he or she shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted, except as provided in Section 13555 of the Vehicle Code.  The probationer shall be informed, in his or her probation papers, of this right and privilege and his or her right, if any, to petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon.  The probationer may make the application and change of plea in person or by attorney, or by the probation officer authorized in writing.  However, in any subsequent prosecution of the defendant for any other offense, the prior conviction may be pleaded and proved and shall have the same effect as if probation had not been granted or the accusation or information dismissed.  The order shall state, and the probationer shall be informed, that the order does not relieve him or her of the obligation to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.  Dismissal of an accusation or information pursuant to this section does not permit a person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm or prevent his or her conviction under Section 29800.  Dismissal of an accusation or information underlying a conviction pursuant to this section does not permit a person prohibited from holding public office as a result of that conviction to hold public office.  This subdivision shall apply to all applications for relief under this section which are filed on or after November 23, 1970."

8 California Penal Code Section 389 provides:  "(a) In any case in which a petition has been filed with a juvenile court to commence proceedings to adjudge a person a dependent child of the court, in any case in which a person is cited to appear before a probation officer or is taken before a probation officer pursuant to Section 307, or in any case in which a minor is taken before any officer of a law enforcement agency, the person or the county probation officer may, five years or more after the jurisdiction of the juvenile court has terminated as to the person, or, in a case in which no petition is filed, five years or more after the person was cited to appear before a probation officer or was taken before a probation officer pursuant to Section 307 or was taken before any officer of a law enforcement agency, or, in any case, at any time after the person has reached the age of 18 years, petition the court for sealing of the records, including records of arrest, relating to the person's case, in the custody of the juvenile court and probation officer and any other agencies, including law enforcement agencies, and public officials as petitioner alleges, in his petition, to have custody of such records.  The court shall notify the district attorney of the county and the county probation officer, if he is not the petitioner of the petition, and such district attorney or probation officer or any of their deputies or any other person having relevant evidence may testify at the hearing on the petition.  If, after hearing, the court finds that since such termination of jurisdiction or action pursuant to Section 307, as the case may be, he has not been convicted of a felony or of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and that rehabilitation has been attained to the satisfaction of the court, it shall order sealed all records, papers, and exhibits in the person's case in the custody of the juvenile court, including the juvenile court record, minute book entries, and entries on dockets, and other records relating to the case in the custody of such other agencies and officials as are named in the order.  Thereafter, the proceedings in such case shall be deemed never to have occurred, and the person may properly reply accordingly to any inquiry about the events, records of which are ordered sealed. The court shall send a copy of the order to each agency and official named therein directing the agency to seal its records and five years thereafter to destroy the sealed records.  Each such agency and official shall seal records in its custody as directed by the order, shall advise the court of its compliance, and thereupon shall seal the copy of the court's order for sealing of records that it or he received.  The person who is the subject of records sealed pursuant to this section may petition the superior court to permit inspection of the records by persons named in the petition, and the superior court may so order.  Otherwise, except as provided in subdivision (b), such records shall not be open to inspection.  (b) In any action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court, upon a showing of good cause, may order any records sealed under this section to be opened and admitted into evidence.  The records shall be confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the court, jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person who is authorized by the court to inspect them.  Upon the judgment in the action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the records sealed.  (c) Five years after a juvenile court record has been sealed, the court shall order the destruction of the sealed juvenile court record unless for good cause the court determines that the juvenile court record shall be retained.  Any other agency in possession of sealed records shall destroy their records five years after the records were ordered sealed."

9 California Penal Code Section 851.7 provides:  "(a) Any person who has been arrested for a misdemeanor, with or without a warrant, while a minor, may, during or after minority, petition the court in which the proceedings occurred or, if there were no court proceedings, the court in whose jurisdiction the arrest occurred, for an order sealing the records in the case, including any records of arrest and detention, if any of the following occurred:  (1) He was released pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b)of Section 849.  (2) Proceedings against him were dismissed, or he was discharged, without a conviction.  (3) He was acquitted.  (b) If the court finds that the petitioner is eligible for relief under subdivision (a), it shall issue its order granting the relief prayed for.  Thereafter, the arrest, detention, and any further proceedings in the case shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the petitioner may answer accordingly any question relating to their occurrence.  (c) This section applies to arrests and any further proceedingsthat occurred before, as well as those that occur after, the effective date of this section.  (d) This section does not apply to any person taken into custody pursuant to Section 625 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or to any case within the scope of Section 781 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, unless, after a finding of unfitness for the juvenile court or otherwise, there were criminal proceedings in thecase, not culminating in conviction.  If there were criminal proceedings not culminating in conviction, this section shall be applicable to such criminal proceedings if such proceedings are otherwise within the scope of this section.  (e) This section does not apply to arrests for, and any further proceedings relating to, any of the following:  (1) Offenses for which registration is required under Section 290.  (2) Offenses under Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code.  (3) Offenses under the Vehicle Code or any local ordinance relating to the operation, stopping, standing, or parking of avehicle.  (f) In any action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court, upon a showing of good cause, may order any records sealed under this section to be opened and admitted in evidence.  The records shall be confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the court, jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person who is authorized by the court to inspect them.  Upon the judgment in the action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the records sealed. (g) This section shall apply in any case in which a person was under the age of 21 at the time of the commission of an offense as to which this section is made applicable if such offense was committed prior to March 7, 1973.  SEE ALSO California Penal Code Section 1203.45 provides:  "(a) In a case in which a person was under the age of 18 years at the time of commission of a misdemeanor and is eligible for, or has previously received, the relief provided by Section 1203.4 or 1203.4a, that person, in a proceeding under Section 1203.4 or 1203.4a, or a separate proceeding, may petition the court for an order sealing the record of conviction and other official records in the case, including records of arrests resulting in the criminal proceeding and records relating to other offenses charged in the accusatory pleading, whether defendant was acquitted or charges were dismissed.  If the court finds that the person was under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the misdemeanor, and is eligible for relief under Section 1203.4 or 1203.4a or has previously received that relief, it may issue its order granting the relief prayed for.  Thereafter the conviction, arrest, or other proceeding shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the petitioner may answer accordingly any question relating to their occurrence.  (b) This section applies to convictions that occurred before, as well as those that occur after, the effective date of this section.  (c) This section shall not apply to offenses for which registration is required under Section 290, to violations of Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code, or to misdemeanor violations of the Vehicle Code relating to operation of a vehicle or of a local ordinance relating to operation, standing, stopping, or parking of a motor vehicle.  (d) This section does not apply to a person convicted of more than one offense, whether the second or additional convictions occurred in the same action in which the conviction as to which relief is sought occurred or in another action, except in the following cases:  (1) One of the offenses includes the other or others.  (2) The other conviction or convictions were for the following:  (A) Misdemeanor violations of Chapters 1 (commencing with Section 21000) to 9 (commencing with Section 22500), inclusive, Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 23100), or Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 23250) of Division 11 of the Vehicle Code, other than Section 23103, 23104, 23105, 23152, 23153, or 23220.  (B) Violation of a local ordinance relating to the operation, stopping, standing, or parking of a motor vehicle.  (3) The other conviction or convictions consisted of any combination of paragraphs (1) and (2).  (e) This section shall apply in a case in which a person was under the age of 21 at the time of the commission of an offense as to which this section is made applicable if that offense was committed prior to March 7, 1973.  (f) In an action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court, upon a showing of good cause, may order the records sealed under this section to be opened and admitted into evidence.  The records shall be confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the court, jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person who is authorized by the court to inspect them.  Upon the judgment in the action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the records sealed.  (g) A person who petitions for an order sealing a record under this section may be required to reimburse the court for the actual cost of services rendered, whether or not the petition is granted and the records are sealed or expunged, at a rate to be determined by the court, not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150), and to reimburse the county for the actual cost of services rendered, whether or not the petition is granted and the records are sealed or expunged, at a rate to be determined by the county board of supervisors, not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150), and to reimburse any city for the actual cost of services rendered, whether or not the petition is granted and the records are sealed or expunged, at a rate to be determined by the city council, not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150).  Ability to make this reimbursement shall be determined by the court using the standards set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 987.8 and shall not be a prerequisite to a person's eligibility under this section.  The court may order reimbursement in a case in which the petitioner appears to have the ability to pay, without undue hardship, all or any portion of the cost for services established pursuant to this subdivision."

10 California Penal Code Section 1000.4 provides:  "(a) Any record filed with the Department of Justice shall indicate the disposition in those cases deferred pursuant to this chapter.  Upon successful completion of a deferred entry of judgment program, the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred shall be deemed to have never occurred.  The defendant may indicate in response to any question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or granted deferred entry of judgment for the offense, except as specified in subdivision (b).  A record pertaining to an arrest resulting in successful completion of a deferred entry of judgment program shall not, without the defendant's consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.  (b) The defendant shall be advised that, regardless of his or her successful completion of the deferred entry of judgment program, the arrest upon which the judgment was deferred may be disclosed by the Department of Justice in response to any peace officer application request and that, notwithstanding subdivision (a), this section does not relieve him or her of the obligation to disclose the arrest in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for a position as a peace officer, as defined in Section 830."

11California Business & Professions Code Section 492 provides:  "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, successful completion of any diversion program under the Penal Code, or successful completion of an alcohol and drug problem assessment program under Article 5 (commencing with Section 23249.50) of Chapter 12 of Division 11 of the Vehicle Code, shall not prohibit any agency established under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of this code, or any initiative act referred to in that division, from taking disciplinary action against a licensee or from denying a license for professional misconduct, notwithstanding that evidence of that misconduct may be recorded in a record pertaining to an arrest.  This section shall not be construed to apply to any drug diversion program operated by any agency established under Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of this code, or any initiative act referred to in that division."

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