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How do I go about getting a disposition from an arrest 21 years ago?

Vallejo, CA |

I was arrested in CA 21 years ago for making threats ( falsely arrested , there was a grudge to get back at me ) . No charges were ever filed and I never went to court . Now my arrest is being flagged by a NANCI background check by the FBI since there is no disposition listed . I contacted the arresting agency and the local DA and neither was helpful . The DA said to contact the CA DOGE which sort of confused me . All I want is a disposition , what can I do ?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Have you tried running your criminal background with department of justice?

Asker

Posted

Yes, I requested a Live Scan background check with the CA DOJ and it contained the arrest but no disposition.

Posted

It's a 3-step analysis:

1. Your "arrest" is a "detention only" by operation of law. See Penal Code Sec 849.5.

2. Take a look next at Pen Code sec 851.6 which provides for you to obtain from the arresting agency a certificate attesting that you were "detained only."
851.6. (a) In any case in which a person is arrested and released
pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 849,
the person shall be issued a certificate, signed by the releasing
officer or his superior officer, describing the action as a
detention.
(b) In any case in which a person is arrested and released and no
accusatory pleading is filed charging him with an offense, the person
shall be issued a certificate by the law enforcement agency which
arrested him describing the action as a detention.
(c) The Attorney General shall prescribe the form and content of
such certificate.
(d) Any reference to the action as an arrest shall be deleted from
the arrest records of the arresting agency and of the Bureau of
Criminal Identification and Investigation of the Department of
Justice. Thereafter, any such record of the action shall refer to it
as a detention.

Step 3, then, is to follow the instructions that come with your California Live Scan report, and with the FBI's NCIC report, to correct those entries by furnishing copies of the 851.6 certificates.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much Christine for your response. I have 2 small follow-ups. (1) I should have noted that I was arrested, booked, and had to post bond. When I read the PC I see that is says "In any case in which a person is arrested and released and no accusatory pleading is filed". I try not to assume but for clarity does "release" include posting bond? (2) Do I need to request from the arresting agency that they provide my a certificate of detention and if so is there a formal process I need to follow?

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

The statute is ordinarily interpreted as applying where the arrestee was not charged by the prosecutor and therefore never required to appear in court ("before a magistrate") for arraignment on the charges. My clients uniformly report success at obtaining the statutorily-described certificate by sending a letter to the custodian of records of the arresting agency. You may want to send it by certified mail, and the statute does not specify a time-limit for response by the agency. It can take a few weeks. But few problems have been reported by my clients.

Posted

Ms. McCall's answer is right on. I'm not sure why you're getting a NACI background check, but I can tell you that once the information is supplemented it could take up to a month for your application to be considered again. Thus, I suggest that you take the steps listed in Ms. McCall's answer right away. If you do get to the stage where you will be polygraphed, you will be asked about the incident and given a chance to explain how it all went down.

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