Expungement

Best Expungement Lawyers

California expungement law (Penal Code section 1203.4) permits someone convicted of a crime to petition the court to re-open the case, set aside the plea, and dismiss the case. In order for one to qualify for expungement he or she must have completed probation, paid all fines and restitution, not served a sentence in state prison for the offense, and not currently being charged with a crime. If the requirements are met for eligibility, a court may grant the petition if it finds that it would be in the interest of justice to do so. A successful expungement will not erase the criminal record. However, the finding of guilt will be changed to a dismissal. The petitioner can then honestly and legally answer to a question about his criminal history, with some exceptions, that he has not been convicted of that crime.

Sealing and destroying an arrest record

Under California law, a person may only be able to seal and destroy an arrest record if

  1. he was arrested and not convicted and
  2. must be factually innocent of the criminal charges.

California Penal Code 851.8.(a) states “In any case where a person has been arrested and no accusatory pleading has been filed, the person arrested may petition the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the offense to destroy its records of the arrest. A copy of the petition shall be served upon the prosecuting attorney of the county or city having jurisdiction over the offense. The law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the offense, upon a determination that the person arrested is factually innocent, shall, with the concurrence of the prosecuting attorney, seal its arrest records, and the petition for relief under this section for three years from the date of the arrest and thereafter destroy its arrest records and the petition.”