Difference Between Criminal Record Expungement vs. Dismissal
Many of our clients are often confused about the difference between criminal record expungement and criminal record dismissal (or dismissal of the conviction). The term expungement is defined as - to strike out, obliterate, or mark for deletion - which is not entirelyl accurate of what the expungement process will do for you. The fact is that the term expungement is not a real legal term used in the state of California, rather an "expungement" is really just a dismissal pursuant PC 1203.4 (the expungement law). Thus, the term expungement and dismissal are synonymous, and can be used interchangeably. Most people use the term expungement, however, the proper term for expungement is "dismissal pursuant PC 1203.4."
The next time you hear somebody say "criminal record expungement" you can feel free to correct them (and sound smart in the process) and tell them that an expungement is actually a dismissal pursuant PC 1203.4.