Did you know that if you were arrested and never charged for an offense or you successfully completed the terms of a diversion program, the initial arrest information is still on file with the law enforcement agency that took you into custody? You must petition to have your record sealed.
How Can Arrest Information Impact You?
Although an arrest is not a conviction, it can still have a profound effect on your life. Like a guilty conviction, the arrest information is public, which is true even if you were never charged with the alleged offense. That means anyone can access it. If a potential employer, school, or lender conducts a background check when you apply at their institution, your criminal history will show up. The information could sway their decision.
What's the Process for Sealing an Arrest Record?
If you were arrested and were never charged or you completed a diversion program, the arrest information does not automatically go away. You must take specific action to have your record sealed.
The law that allows you to seek to have your arrest record sealed is California Penal Code 851.87. Pursuant to this statute, you must petition the court that has jurisdiction over your case to get the process started. When you file, you must include specific documents and a statement as to whether sealing your record is a matter of right or an interest of justice.
Call our skilled Murietta criminal defense lawyer at John Pozza Attorney at Law, PLCfor help gathering all the necessary information and preparing your statement for the court.
How Long Does the Arrest Sealing Process Take?
After you petition the court to have your arrest record sealed, a copy of your request will be sent to any law enforcement agency with an interest in the matter and the prosecuting attorney. If they intend to contest the sealing of your record, they have 60 days from receiving your information to do so. If they do challenge your request, the court may schedule a hearing. During this proceeding, the prosecutor must provide evidence as to why your petition should be denied.
Within 30 days of granting your petition, the court must send the order to the necessary law enforcement agencies to have them seal your record.
What Happens After My Arrest Record Is Sealed?
If your request to have your arrest record sealed is granted, the public can no longer access it. Additionally, you can legally say that you have never been arrested for an offense.
Having your arrest record sealed does not mean that the information is completely destroyed. If you apply for a position in law enforcement, your history will show up. Also, if you've been charged with another offense, criminal justice agencies will be able to access it as part of their investigation.
If you want to learn more about sealing your arrest record or need legal help with the process, call John Pozza Attorney at Law, PLC at (951) 749-5598 or contact us online today!