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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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conviction expunged

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I have convicted a felony in 2003 in state of California, However, on 2006, i got my conviction expunged. I'm a student at Grand Canyon University, and majoring in Education. I try to get my Fingerprint Clearance card from Arizona Public Safety Department, but it takes for ever. My question is...since my conviction is already expunged, set aside... Can they use it against me? Can i still enter Education program, and obtain teaching license from state of Arizona? or any other states?

HelloCustomerand welcome back to JustAnswer. ///. First, there is no such thing in California as "expunging" a conviction. Many lawyers and even a few judges mis-use the term. The second phrase that you used in your question, "set aside", is more likely what actually happened ... You suffered a felony conviction in 2003, but were granted probation and not sent to prison ... When you successfully completed probation in 2006, you applied for and were granted relief under Penal Code section 1203.4, the conviction was set aside and the case dismissed. ///. While this procedure does wipe out the conviction for most purposes, it does not expunge your criminal history, which continues to show the original arrest, the fact that you were convicted, the fact that you were placed on probation, that your conviction was set aside pursuant to 1203.4 and that the case was dismissed. ///. The granting of such relief does not, however, eliminate all disabilities resulting from the conviction. Pertinent to your question is this part of 1203.4: "... 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 licensure by any state or local agency ...." ///. What this means is that when you apply for a teaching credential (license or certification), you will have to reveal the conviction, though you will have an opportunity to explain that it was subsequently set aside and the case dismissed. Whether or not any particular state would then use that to deny your application would be up to that state under its rules. ///. It would probably be wise to do some preliminary research in whatever state you are considering applying to see what that state's policy is regarding the issuance of teaching credentials to people who have previous convictions for whatever your specific offense was and how they handle convictions which have been set aside and dismissed. ///. The record check that Arizona will run based on your fingerprints will show the complete criminal history, so be prepared for that eventuality. ///. Sorry I can't give you better news, but that is the reality of your situation. If you have any other questions about this, please let me know.
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