On January 1, 2018, The Consumer Arrest Record Equity Act (The CARE Act) took effect. This law made it easier to have your arrest record sealed if you were not convicted of the crime for which the arrest was based.
Under California Penal Code Section 851.91, you are considered to be “not convicted” if:
- Criminal charges were never filed
- Criminal charges were filed but eventually dismissed
- You were found not guilty at trial
- You were convicted but your conviction was vacated or overturned on appeal
- Charges were dismissed after you completed a pretrial or pre-sentencing program
So, how can you have your arrest record sealed under PC 851.91?
The Court Process for Sealing an Arrest Record Under PC 851.91
Although PC 851.91 gives you the right to have your arrest record sealed if you were not convicted of the crime for which your arrest was based, it does not mean your arrest record will automatically be sealed. In order to have your arrest record sealed, you should speak to an experienced post-conviction relief attorney who can help you navigate the court process.
Your attorney will file a petition to have your arrest record sealed with the court where the original charges were filed or, if no charges were filed, in the city or county where you were arrested.
A petition to seal your arrest record must include the following:
- Your name and date of birth
- The date of your arrest
- The city and county where the arrest occurred
- The name of the arresting law enforcement agency
- The case or court number and any additional information about your arrest
- The alleged offense(s) the arrest was based on
- A statement that you are entitled to have your arrest sealed as a matter of right or a statement stating why the interests of justice would be served by granting the petition to seal your arrest record
The petition must be served on the law enforcement agency that made the arrest and on the district attorney’s office in the city or county where the arrest took place (or where charges were filed). Once the petition is received by the district attorney’s office, the prosecutor can request a hearing to contest the petition within 60 days.
At the hearing, a judge will examine your arrest record and determine if the interests of justice would be served by granting your petition. The prosecution may present evidence at the hearing to show that sealing your arrest record would not be in the best interests of justice.
A skilled post-conviction relief attorney can help you submit a successful petition to the court and argue on your behalf at a PC 851.91 hearing.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today to Find Out If You’re Eligible to Seal Your Arrest Record
If you wish to end the negative consequences that having an arrest record is having on your life, you should speak to our experienced post-conviction relief attorneys at Wallin & Klarich about sealing your arrest record. Our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have been helping clients clean their criminal record for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich post-conviction relief attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call our law firm today at (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.