Does expungement of a misdemeanor allow a person previously convicted of a crime allow them to say they have never been charged with a crime?

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Does expungement of a misdemeanor allow a person previously convicted of a crime allow them to say they have never been charged with a crime?

Asked on March 18, 2019 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, that is what it means. An expungement makes it as though there has never been a conviction. Accordingly, you can say that you have never been charged since your entire record (arrest and cnviction) is cleared from your record. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, that is exactly what expungement does: for all practical purposes, it makes the conviction go away as it never happened, so the person can legally say he was never charged. The record is sealed--the whole record; not just of the verdict/conviction, but of the charge, too. If a person had to answer affirmatively about a crime after expungement, that would defeat the purpose of expungement, which is to give them a fresh start.


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