California Arrest Record Sealing
Were you arrested, but never convicted of the crime? If so, that arrest will show on your permanent criminal record for the rest of your life, and it can potentially be seen by employers, landlord and banks if they do a criminal background check on you. Furthermore, if charges were filed against you, but the case was subsequently dismissed, then those charges are also visible on you your permanent criminal record. Luckily, there are laws that allow us to get your arrest record, and all of the information surrounding the arrest, officially sealed. Don't let a false arrest hold you back in your life, start the process of sealing your arrest record today.
Our law firm specializes in California record clearing laws, and we have a great deal of experience with getting arrest records sealed for our clients throughout the state of California. The second you sign up for our arrest record sealing service a knowledgeable attorney will begin working on your case. We know how to navigate the intricacies of the arrest record sealing laws, allowing us to seal your arrest record in only 6-12 weeks typically. Isn't it time you took the steps necessary to finally forget your past and to embrace your future?
*Pricing listed is for PC 851.91 arrest record sealing, not PC 851.8. If you are interested in a PC 851.8 factual innocence sealing please call us to discuss your case.
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California Arrest Record Sealing Summary
If you were ever arrested in the past, then the criminal arrest information will normally be on your permanent criminal record for life. Furthermore, if you were ever charged with a crime after your arrest but never subsequently convicted (because the case was dismissed, or you were acquitted, etc.), then those crimnal charges will also be a part of your permanent criminal record. Having this information on your record for the world to see can have a serious negative impact on your life and your ability to secure employment. Fortunately, there is relief.
We are able to motion the appropriate agencies under applicable California laws, and request that the arrest records be sealed and / or destroyed. Once the petition is granted, the entire record, including fingerprints, booking photo, arrest report, and any other official information regarding 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.
Two Ways To Seal An Arrest Record
#1: PC 851.8 - The first method for sealing an arrest record utilizes PC 851.8, which is an older law, and it requires that we prove factual innocence. Factual innocence can be a very hard thing to prove, and requires that the Judge agree that in retrospect, given the totality of evidence, that you should not have been arrested. Furthermore, PC 851.8 prescribes a two year time limit for filing the arrest record sealing request with the Court, from the date of the arrest. If the arrest is older than two years, we can request a time waiver, but this can be difficult to do. However, relief under PC 851.8 is more far reaching than under PC 851.91 (described below), as it permanently seals and destroys the arrest record, meaning that it will be completely removed from all public databases, and will essentially cease to exist. Arrest record sealing under PC 851.8 is much more difficult, and requires a lot more work, and is not the default method we use. Consequently, the cost for arrest record sealing under PC 851.8 is not a fixed cost (i.e., is NOT $999). If you are interested in this more thorough approach to arrest record sealing please call us to discuss your case - (800) 916-1228.
#2: PC 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 demanding relief.
Here are the general requirements that must be satisfied to qualify under PC 851.91 to have your arrest record sealed in California:
- 1You must have been arrested in California.
- 2Your arrest must not have resulted in any convictions. If you were convicted then our other expungement services are more appropriate in your situation (see infraction expugnement service, misdemeanor expungement service, or felony expungement service).
- 3Charges can no longer be filed by the prosecuting attorney, meaning the statute of limitations has passed (1 year for a misdemeanor arrest, and 3 years for a felony arrest), or charges were filed and 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:
- 1 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.”
- 2The 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, but will still be visible on your DOJ rap sheet. However, even your DOJ rap sheet will be updated with a notation stating that the arrest has been ordered sealed.
It should also be noted, that sealing an arrest pursuant to PC 851.91 does not relieve you from the obligation to disclose the arrest, if otherwise required by law, in response to any direct question contained in an application for:
- 1Public office.
- 2Employment as a Peace Officer.
- 3Licensure by any state or local agency.
- 4Contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.
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.
Fresh Start Law Center specializes in record clearing laws in California, and we have a lot of experience with sealing arrest records for clients throughout the state of California. An experienced and knowledgeable arrest record sealing lawyer will handle your case from beginning to end, optimizing your chances at getting your arrest record successfully sealed. Do not let your wrongful arrest hold you back any longer, clear your name and your criminal record for good.
Benefits Of Getting Arrest Record Sealed In California
There is nothing worse than suffering the consequences for something you did not do. A wrongful arrest can have a severe impact on your life and can serve as a permanent blemish on your criminal record. Getting your arrest record sealed in California can erase that blemish and provide you with not only the peace of mind of getting official recognition from the court that the arrest was in fact wrongful, but can also provide you with other tangible benefits in the state of California, such as:
- 1Will completely remove the arrest from your permanent criminal record for good (if dong a PC 851.8 sealing).
- 2The arrest will no longer display on private background checks.
- 3You can truthfully and legally answer "NO" on private sector job applications when asked if you have ever been arrested.
- 4You can greatly increase your earning capacity by becoming eligible for more employment opportunities.
- 5You may become eligible for more types of professional licenses and certificates.
- 6You can become eligible for better student loans.
- 7You can become eligible for better housing assistance.
- 8You can honestly tell friends and family that you have never been arrested.
- 9You have the satisfaction of forgetting the past for good and moving forward into a more positive future.
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Why An Experienced Attorney Is Essential
The process of getting your arrest record sealed in California is a fairly complex area of law and should not be navigated without the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. For PC 851.8 arrest record the sealing the legal process resembles a miniature trial, wherein all evidentiary support demonstrating your factual innocence must be gathered and typically presented to the judge at a hearing. There is also almost always opposition from the prosecuting attorney, or other agencies involved in the arrest, requiring oral arguments in support of your factual innocence to persuade the judge. Lastly, you only get one shot at getting your arrest record sealed. If the judge denies the petition, you will likely not be able to get the arrest records in question sealed in the future, so it is essential that everything is done correctly the first time.
Not only is hiring an attorney essential to your success, but it is important to hire an attorney with lots of experience with the arrest record sealing laws in California. Here at Fresh Start Law Center we focus solely on California record clearing laws, and from the second you sign up for our arrest record sealing service, our knowledge and expertise will be applied to the unique facts surrounding your arrest. Your case will be handled from start to finish by an attorney that specializes in getting arrest records sealed in the state of California. We are ready to help you put your wrongful arrest behind you. Are you ready?
- Analyze your unique case details
- Provide expert legal advice
- Conduct necessary legal research
- provide an accurate assessment of your chances
- Prepare / gather supporting evidence
- prepare the motion
- File the motion with the appropriate court
- Serve prosecuting agency
- Pay all court costs
- Pay all filling fees
- Schedule the hearing
- Respond to any D.A. opposition
- Attend required court hearing on your behalf
- Argue the case at hearing
- obtain a signed court order
- update the criminal databases
- Refile if necessary
- Case follow-up with you
- Help Prepare initial motion
There is no reason to continue to let a wrongful arrest affect your future. We are able to get you relief by getting your arrest record sealed under PC 851.8 or PC 851.91. We specialize solely in California record clearing laws and are experienced with the arrest record sealing process, which greatly optimizes your chances at successfully getting the arrest record sealed. We really appreciate you taking the time to view our website and we hope that you found the information helpful. We truly look forward to helping you put your wrongful arrest behind you for good, allowing you to forget the past and embrace the future.
David Huffman, Esq.
Founding Attorney, Fresh Start Law Center
Call For FREE Consultation (800) 916-1228