Expungement Lawyer: What "Case Dismissed" Means for a Probationer

As the defendant accused of a crime, the best thing you can hope is for your case to get dismissed and charges dropped thus avoiding a long and costly trial. The judge may dismiss the case due to lack of merit or evidence to warrant prosecution. However, if you are found guilty of a non-violent offense (e.g. fraud, embezzlement, bribery), or are a first-time offender, the judge may put you on probation which, in the end, can result in a dismissal.

What does it mean to be placed on probation?

Probation is granted when the facts relevant to the crime, and its gravity, suggest that the probationer doesn’t pose a serious threat to society, and that lengthy imprisonment is not a reasonable punishment. If you plead guilty to a charge, a judge may grant you probation. As a condition of probation you may be required to serve a jail sentence as well as other conditions, such as paying a fine. The judge may suspend a jail sentence all together. This means that the Court postponed judgment of incarceration for a time, allowing you to serve your sentence out of jail in relative freedom. If you do conform to all probationary terms and steer clear of trouble, once the probationary period is complete, you can withdraw your guily plea and enter a plea of “not guilty.”

Petition for dismissal required

However, completing probation doesn’t mean your slate is wiped clean. In order to have your case “dismissed”, you must file a Petition for Dismissal. A criminal record expungement attorney from a Sacramento firm can petition to clear your record by obtaining a dismissal of the charges.

Your expungement lawyer in Sacramento will gather all the necessary information relating to your case. It is important that all pertinent details are presented to the judge to ensure the dismissal of the all of the charges. The information will include details about you and your case, proof that you conformed to all probation terms, e.g. counseling, house arrest, and followed the prohibition against alcohol, carrying a weapon etc. Letters of reference and other documents in support of you may help persuade the court in granting you a favorable decision.

Limitations of expungements

Expunging your past records can also help you with private employment, certifications, and loan eligibility. Upon dismissal, you will not be required to disclose this case to most potential employers. If you seek government employment or licenses, you will have to disclose the charges, but you can note that you’ve faithfully served your probation and that the judge has granted you an expungement. Consult with an experienced expungement attorney, such as those from The Chastaine Law Office to find out if your records are qualified for expungement.