Sealing Your Arrest Records
Sealing Your Arrest Record in California

If you have ever been arrested in the past, then all the criminal arrest information will be on your permanent criminal record for life. Moreover, if you were charged with a crime after your arrest but ever actually convicted, then those criminal charges will also be a part of your permanent criminal record. This sort of information on your record visible for the world to see can have adverse consequences on your life and your employment. But rest assured, because there is a RELIEF available to you.
 
The Law of Office of Ashley Daniel can file the necessary motions to request that your arrest records be sealed and/or destroyed. Upon the motion being granted, your entire record, including

fingerprints, booking photos, arrest reports, and any other information relating to the arrest will be sealed. This means that you will be able to truthfully say that you have never been arrested in the future. Additionally, the sealed arrest information will no longer display on background checks ran by employers, landlords and banks.
 
There are two possible ways to seal your arrest record in California:

  1. Penal Code §851.87; and
  2. Penal Code §851.91.

Penal Code §851.87 –

Under PC 851.87, your arrest record can be sealed as a “matter of right” if any of the following circumstances are true in your case:

  • You got arrested but were never criminally charged by prosecutor, and the Statute of Limitations has run;
  • Criminal charges were filed against you, but the charges were ultimately dismissed;
  • Criminal charges were filed against you, but you were found not guilty at trial;
  • You were convicted of crime charged, but the conviction was reversed; or
  • The charges were dismissed against your pursuant to successful completion of a pretrial diversion program or through deferred entry of judgment.

If any of the above applies to you, then your record can be sealed upon showing of

Penal Code §851.91

The second method for sealing an arrest record utilizes a newer law (effective January 1, 2018), and it is a much more simplistic approach. Under PC 851.91 we need only prove that you are eligible for relief, and to motion the court of that eligibility.

The general requirements that must be satisfied to qualify under PC 851.91 to have your arrest record sealed in California:

  • You must have been arrested in California.
  • Your arrest must not have resulted in any convictions. (If you were convicted then an expungement service may be more appropriate for your situation).
  • Charges can no longer be filed by the prosecuting agency because the statute of limitations has passed (1 year for a misdemeanor arrest, and 3 years for a felony arrest), or charges were later dismissed.

Once the arrest record has been ordered sealed by the Court under PC 851.91 the arrest record shall be updated, as follows:

  • The local summary criminal history information shall include, directly next to or below the entry or entries regarding the sealed arrest, a note stating “arrest sealed.”
  • The state summary criminal history information (i.e., your DOJ rap sheet) shall include, directly next to or below the entry or entries regarding the sealed arrest, a note stating “arrest relief granted.”

If the record is ordered sealed by the Court, it then becomes illegal for the Court, or any law enforcement agency, to disseminate the arrest information to any private entity. Thus, your arrest record will be sealed from public view in almost all situations.

However, under this section, your arrest record will still be visible on your DOJ rap sheet, but that will also be updated with a notation indicating that the arrest has been ordered sealed.

Thus, you can legally and honestly state you have never been arrested in any other situation not listed above. Meaning you can answer “NO” on nearly all employment, landlord, and lender applications if asked if you have ever been arrested.

If you feel that you were wrongfully arrested, then there is no reason to let that arrest remain a part of your permanent record. Getting the arrest record sealed under PC 851.8 or PC 851.91 will provide you with relief from the wrongful arrest in your life.

Benefits Of Sealing Arrest Records

An arrest can have a very negative impact on your life and can be a permanent blemish on your criminal record. Getting your arrest record sealed in California can remove that blemish and provide you with peace of mind of getting official recognition from the court that your arrest was unlawful and it can also provide you with several other benefits in California, such as:

  1. Remove the arrest from your permanent criminal record for good (if dong a PC 851.87 sealing).
  2. Private background checks will no longer display any arrests that have been sealed.
  3. You can truthfully and legally answer “NO” on private sector job applications when asked if you have ever been arrested.
  4. More employment opportunities will be available to you, thus increasing your earning potential.
  5. Your eligibility will increase for various professional licenses and certifications.
  6. You can be eligible for school loans and housing assistance.
  7. You will have the satisfaction of leaving the the past behind and moving forward into more positive tomorrow!

If you or a loved one is considering taking action to get rid of any arrests from the past, then Law Office of Ashley Daniel is here to help you taking the all necessary steps to putting this matter behind you for good! Call us today for a free consultation!