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My friend got released with no charge before even being arraigned. Now she wants to seal her arrest record. How's that done?

Salinas, CA |

My friend was arrested for felony ADW on hearsay from an unreliable person with a grudge . She was held an extra 72 hours , with no arraignment , possibly because the person who made the charge left town for a few days . Now my friend wants to get this arrest record removed . How is that done ? Does she need an attorney ?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

Your friend will be required to make a showing of factual innocence to get the arrest removed from her record. Factual innocence is hard to show, and there are some serious downsides to attempting show factual innocence if the statute of limitations has not expired.

As a side note, in 2009 CA started taking DNA samples of people arrested -- not convicted -- for felony crimes, and she can petition the court to have her DNA expunged from the Department of Justice DNA database without a showing of factual innocence. I wouldn't want the government to have my DNA, and that's something worth mentioning to her.


Yes I would recommend hiring an attorney. Also, just because charges have not been filed yet does not mean that charges will not be filed. This is not an easy process. For more information review California Penal Code 851.8 PC

Robert Driessen

Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 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. Driessen, feel free to contact him at


My understanding is you can only get an arrest removed from your record if you are factually innocent. I don't know that you would be able to get it removed while the staute of limitations is still running.


Getting an arrest removed can be very difficult. I'd suggest that she consult with a local criminal defense attorney. Good luck.

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