What Sealing Your Arrest Record Does and Does Not Do (PC 851.91)
The negative stigma of having an arrest record could impact you for the rest of your life. Having an arrest on your record could make it difficult to get accepted into certain colleges, gain employment and advance in your career. However, you may be able to end these consequences by having your arrest record sealed.
California Penal Code Section 851.91 recently went into effect in California. Under PC 851.91, you may be able to have your arrest record sealed if you were not convicted of the crime you were arrested for.
Having your arrest record sealed could have numerous benefits for you.
The Benefits of Sealing Your Arrest Record
An arrest is public information. Any member of the public can view your arrest record. However, if you have your arrest record sealed under PC 851.91, your arrest will be considered “not to have occurred.” Your arrest will no longer be available for the public to view.
This means you will honestly be able to answer “no” if potential employers or prospective landlords ask you if you have ever been arrested. Being able to answer no to this question may help you:
- Obtain employment
- Find housing
- Be accepted into certain colleges and universities
- Pursue professional certifications
- Join different branches of the military, and
- Obtain a security clearance
What Sealing Your Arrest Record Does Not Do
You need to know that having your petition to seal your arrest record granted under PC 851.91 does not completely eliminate your arrest from history. You will still be obligated to disclose your arrest if applying for:
- Public office
- Employment as a peace officer
- Licensing by any state or local agency, and
- A contract with the California State Lottery Commission
Having your arrest record sealed also does not shield the arrest from the eyes of the prosecution in any potential future cases. This means it may be able to be used against you as evidence that you show a certain pattern of conduct. For example, let’s say you were arrested for grand theft and you have your arrest record sealed. Then, six years later, you are accused of grand theft. The prosecution will attempt to use your sealed arrest to show that you have displayed a pattern of theft.
Additionally, having your arrest record sealed will not restore your right to own, possess or carry a firearm.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney about Sealing Your Arrest Record Today
If you were arrested for a crime that you were not convicted of, you may have the right to seal your arrest record. You should pursue the possibility of having your arrest record sealed by contacting Wallin & Klarich today. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys can help you determine if you are eligible and guide you through the complicated court process of having your arrest record sealed.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call us today at (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.