Can an arrest record be sealed or destroyed.

Asked over 4 years ago - Union City, CA

How long after an arrest can one file for this to be sealed or destroyed. is it even possible at all.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Joseph Briscoe Dane


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . There is only one way to "seal and destroy" an adult arrest record in California and that's if a court makes a finding of "factual innocence." You would need to file a motion pursuant to Penal Code section 851.8 and have it heard by the judge. If you qualify for this, I would suggest you hire an attorney to do this, as the specifics matter.

    The big question is: do you qualify for this? If you had charges dismissed after a plea deal or you took a diversion class, etc., then you probably would not qualify. If no charges were ever filed, then you may. Under a petition for factual innocence, you're asking the court to find that there was no basis for your arrest.

    You'll need to discuss this in detail face to face with an attorney who handles criminal cases.

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