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Can you have a charge you were not convicted of removed from your record or have your record sealed, if not removed?

Fontana, CA |

Have charges on my record that I was never convicted for and it's affecting my ability to gain employment. I'm also trying to clear up another charge and want to know what can't be removed or sealed from my record.

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Attorney answers 5


We're you convicted of anything? That will decide what remedies maybe available to you.

Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney/client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Feasel to further investigate your situation, feel free to contact him thru this site.


If you know that potential private employers are using this against you, you should familiarize yourself with California Labor Code section 432.7. A potential employer cannot use arrests which did not lead to conviction against you in considering you for a job. I would suggest contacting the Nat'l Employment Labor Project for further advice: (510) 409-2427

Other attorneys will provide you with answers about sealing your records, but let me tell you this: your criminal history available to law enforcement will always contain your police contacts. This is information which should not be available to the general public or those smarmy "background check" companies. So, when you say "record" it can mean different things.


Convictions can be expunged, but I am uncertain what you mean by "charges".


If you were not convicted of any charges stemming from the arrest then you can file to have your arrest record sealed pursuant to California Penal Code section 851.8. In order for the judge to grant the sealing request, there must be a determination of factual innocence. This means you must show there is no reasonable cause to believe you committed the offense you were arrested for.


As attorney Gatekunst points out, it is illegal for employers to use evidence of criminal charges for which you were not convicted against you when considering you for employment. However, in this day and age, virtually any information can be obtained on the internet or by a dogged private investigator. I would think carefully about accepting employment at any firm that would hold this against you. If you have evidence that an employer is doing so, you could bring action under the provisions of the Labor Code or notify the relevant regulatory agencies.