Great news, you just found out that your case was dismissed. The bad news is that there’s still more for you to do. When you’re case is dismissed, usually the prosecutor has decided to drop your case instead of taking it to trial. There are situations where the court can dismiss your case, but it’s usually the prosecutor and not the judge dismissing your case.
As long as the statute of limitations has not passed, the district attorney’s office can still usually refile the charge but I have rarely seen that happen.
When someone comes into my office looking for help on a case, they almost always say that they want their case dismissed. What they actually mean is that they don’t want to be punished for this crime they’re being accused of, but just as importantly they don’t want this case to follow them around for the rest of their lives. When your case is dismissed the case is still a public record and will continue to show up on background checks. It should show that the case was dismissed, but the employer can still use that information to deny you the job. You will also have to disclose it on job applications if they ask if you’ve been arrested.
To get the full benefit of a dismissal, you have to get your background cleaned up so that the case does not follow you around for the rest of your life. When I was in my early 20s, I was arrested for DWI. My case was later dismissed, but my attorney didn’t tell me that I could get the charge taken off my record. Every time I applied for a job and when I applied to law school, I had to check off the box saying that I was arrested. Then I had to tell one of the most embarrassing stories that I had, Each time, I didn’t know if it was going to keep my from getting the job or getting into school. I could have avoided all of that if my attorney told me that I could get an expunction.
An expunction does two major things. First, it is an order from the court to each government agency that has any record of your arrest to destroy their records. This will keep the charge from showing up on background checks in the future. Second, it lets you deny ever having been arrested for that charge. This means that when you’re filling out an application for a job or for housing, that you don’t have to volunteer that information.
If you have any questions about expunctions or if your case was dismissed and you’re trying to find out if you’re eligible to clean up your record, feel free to give me a call at 210-900-2806 or click the button below to schedule a free consultation.