What Happens If Someone Picks Up The Same Charge After An Expunction?

Nothing should happen. Your new case will be a separate case and you should be treated as if the first case never happened.

There are only three exceptions I can think of where you might be hurt by an expunged case.

The first is if you’re unlucky enough to land in the same court, with the same judge and prosecutor, as your first case, and they remember you and dismissed your case only reluctantly. You can’t expunge people’s memories, and if the judge and prosecutor take a harder view towards your current case because they remember your past case, there’s nothing you can do about that.

The second is if your case had such major media attention that everyone remembers it. If you were acquitted of a high profile murder and pick up a new charge, the prosecution is probably going to view you more harshly because of that.

The last exception I can think of is if your past case was expunged due to a pretrial diversion. Most pretrial diversion agreements contain language that allows the District Attorney’s Office to keep records of your pretrial diversion after you file for an expunction. Everything will be destroyed except those pretrial diversion records. The reason for this is that, if you ever get charged again, the DA’s Office needs to know if you got pretrial diversion in the past so they don’t endlessly keep giving the same people pretrial diversions. But the only harm it’s going to cause you is to make you ineligible for a second pretrial diversion; other than that, probably not much.

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