Expungement / Dismissal Pursuant to PC 1203.4, etc.

You may ask the Court to dismiss a criminal case from your record in many instances:

  • If you were arrested for a crime, but not convicted, information about sealing the arrest record is on the California Courts - external link website.
  • If you were charged and convicted of an infraction, more information is on the California Courts - external link website.
  • If, as an adult, you were charged with or convicted of a misdemeanor or felony IN SACRAMENTO COUNTY, please continue.

What is an Expungement /Dismissal?

California does not have a true expungement process. A "true" expungement seals arrest and conviction records. Dismissal under PC 1203.4 - external link does not seal the arrest or conviction. The case will still show up on a background check, but it will show up as dismissed. The most common reason a person files for this type of relief is to be able to state on most job applications that they have not been convicted of a felony/crime.

What does dismissal not do?

The record of conviction will still exist and will continue to have certain effects. Dismissal does not eliminate all possible adverse consequences or release a person from all “penalties and disabilities” resulting from the charges in the case.

  • Case information may be available to others when the release of such information is authorized by law.
  • You still have to disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery.
  • The dismissed conviction will still be considered a prior conviction in future criminal proceedings, such as for enhancing a prison sentence.
  • Dismissal does not affect suspension of your driving privilege ( Vehicle Code Section 13555 - external link), nor does it affect Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) actions or future consequences for crimes involving operation of a motor vehicle.
  • Dismissal will not permit you to own, possess, or have in your custody or control a firearm, and will not prevent you from being convicted under Section 12021 of the Penal Code - external link (person prohibited from possessing a firearm) in the future.
  • You will still need to register under Penal Code §290 - external link.
  • Dismissal does not seal your record, destroy or remove any entries from the court, law enforcement, Department of Justice or DMV. The case, including the conviction will remain public record.

Can my charges be dismissed?

Anyone who has paid all court ordered fees, fines, and victim restitution and meets the following criteria is eligible for dismissal under the following codes:

You are NOT eligible if:

California State Assembly Bill 2147 - external link was signed into law in 2020. This law amends the Penal Code to add Section 1203.4b - external link, speeding up the expungement process for former inmates who participated in conservation camps or county hand crews. If you participated in one of these programs, you do not need to wait to complete parole, probation or supervised release to apply for dismissal.

You may qualify under Penal Code §1203.4b if:

  • You successfully participated in a Conservation Camp or as a member of the County incarcerated individual hand crew.
    • Successful participation means that you “adequately performed [your] duties without any conduct that warranted removal from the program”.
  • You have been released from custody.
  • You have not violated any terms of your probation, parole, or supervised release.
  • You have not been charged with another offense.

You are not eligible for relief under this section if you have been convicted of any of the following crimes:

  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape as defined in paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of PC 261 - external link or paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of PC 262 - external link
  • Lewd acts on a child under 14 years of age, as defined in PC 288 - external link
  • Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life
  • Any sex offense requiring registration pursuant to PC 290 - external link
  • Escape from a secure perimeter within the previous 10 years
  • Arson
There is no administrative cost assessed to file for dismissal under this code.

There is no fee if you are filing to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor PC 17(b) - external link, asking the court to terminate probation early PC 1203.3 - external link), or filing for dismissal after participating in a Fire Crew PC 1203.4b - external link.

Filing a PC 17(b), PC 1203.3 or PC 1203.4b No probation given Any probation given
No Fee $60.00 $120.00
If you cannot afford the administrative costs, complete Request to Waive Administrative Costs (CRC-332).

Before You File

Before you complete your petition, you will need the following information:

  • Case Number
  • Date of conviction
  • Code section of the conviction (e.g. Penal Code 459.5)
  • Description of the code section (e.g. Shoplifting)
  • County where you were convicted (must be Sacramento County to file here)

If you are going to request that the court waive the administrative costs, you may also need:

  • Recent paystubs or other documens for source of income
  • Bank statements
  • Real estate / mortgage statement
  • Vehicle loan statement
  • Information regarding your monthly expenses
Complete a petition packet for each case you want to dismiss in Sacramento County.

For help with completing the forms, refer to the Expungement/Dismissal Self-Help Guide and/or the Administrative Cost Waiver Self-Help Guide

Relief in the Interest of Justice

If you are petitioning for relief in the interest of justice (you checked box 2c, 3b, 4c, 5*, or 6c on the Petition for Dismissal form), you must explain how granting dismissal is in the interest of justice. An attached declaration explains how you have changed your life since the conviction, and the negative impact the conviction has had on you. Use form number MC-031 - external link to write your statement and tell the court why any attached documents are relevant.

SHere are some examples of information that may support your request for relief:

  • Membership to 12-step, religious, recovery or community groups.
  • How granting the request will change your life for the better- you have a pending job offer, it will make it easier for you to find housing, etc.
  • How you have changed, and things you have done to help your community since the initial conviction.
  • Life goals and how they have been obstructed by the conviction.
  • What led you to offend, and how you have changed since that time

* If you are applying for relief under PC 1203.49 - external link, you must "establish by clear and convincing evidence that the conviction was a result of [your] status as a victim of human trafficking."

Make copies of the forms you are submitting:

  • Petition for Dismissal (CR-180) plus five (5) copies (6 total).
  • Order for Dismissal (CR-181) plus five (5) copies (6 total).
  • Request to Waive Administrative Fee (if applicable) plus one (1) copies (2 total).
  • Petition (CR-9) (if applicable) plus five (5) copies (6 total).
    • The CR-9 is only used for 1203.3/17 PC requests, or for 1203.4 PC requests if the case is still on probation.
    **If you are filing for relief as a Fire Crew Member (PC 1203.4b), you must submit an additional copy of each document (original plus six (6) copies, [7 total]).
    • Two-hole punch all documents at the top.
    • Include a self-addressed stamped envelope*
    • If you are not asking to waive the administrative costs, include a check made out to "Sacramento Superior Court," or complete the Credit Card Authorization form. The court also accepts money orders, cashiers checks, traveler's, and cash. We do not recommend placing cash in the drop box.
    * If you want a copy of the order after the judge has made a decision, you must include a self-addressed stamped envelope. It will cost $40.00 for a certification charge plus a copy fee of $.50 per page if you request a copy later.

    To Submit Your Documents:

    By Mail:

    Sacramento Superior Court
    Criminal Division, Room 102
    720 9th Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    By Drop box:

    Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse
    720 9th Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Enter on the 8th Street side. The drop box is past security.

Do I have to appear at the hearing?

Check the table below to determine if you need to appear at the hearing:


Yes No
If you are still on probation for a Misdemeanor case (PC 1203.3). For misdemeanor cases not on probation, the judge will review your petition ex parte (in your absence) with a "Rule by Date."
All Felony cases. The hearing will be scheduled ninety (90) days after the date of filing.
If filing both felony and misdemeanor charges at the same time, all charges follow the felony path.
Due to Covid-19, all hearings will be over Zoom EXCEPT hearings in Dept. 60 or Dept. 62.

Checking the Status of Your Petition

You may check the Status of Your Petition on Sacramento Superior Court’s Public Case Access System seven (7) court days after the "Rule By Date" noted on the petition (or the Hearing Date for felony cases).

  • If your petition is denied, you may call the department to see if the judge will allow a hearing. If the judge denies a hearing, you will have to start the process from the beginning with additional proof that everything necessary has been completed, or additional supporting information that the dismissal be granted in the interest of justice.
  • For misdemeanor cases with a "Rule by Date", if you provided a self-addressed stamped envelope at the time the petition was filed, a copy will be mailed to you within seven (7) court days of the court’s decision.

What Happens if My Petition is Granted?

  • The conviction will be set aside;
  • A plea of not guilty will be entered; and
  • The case will be dismissed pursuant to the applicable Penal Code (1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.4b, 1203.41, 1203.42, or 1203.43).