The results of a criminal conviction in California can be devastating. A criminal conviction can stay on a person's criminal record for the rest of their lives. A criminal conviction could potentially result in the loss of job and school opportunities during that time, amongst other things. Dismissals under California PC 1203.4, commonly thought of as "Expungements" will not actually mask or remove a conviction from a person's criminal record. They will simply add the equivalent of an asterisk next to it stating that the conviction was dismissed pursuant to that Penal Code section. However, the conviction itself may still be visible to those with access to such records. That is why it is always advisable to fight criminal charges at the outset when there is an open court case in order to obtain the best results possible.