Destroying Arrest Records Pursuant To Penal Code Section 851.8

Posted in Licensing Defense

If you (or a family member) have been wrongfully arrested and the prosecutor decides not to pursue charges, or perhaps dismisses charges that had been filed – the nightmare is behind you or so you thought.

Many people are unaware that such an arrest may still be on their Criminal History Record because they never sustained a conviction, charges were never filed, and the arrest is decades old. Each time you submit to a Livescan your criminal arrest history may be included. You may not know that the arrest record is haunting your professional career until it is too late.

Such imperfections on a Criminal History Report can create substantial consequences; potential future employers will know about the arrest, as well as Professional Licensing Boards. As a result it may be difficult to obtain employment in a chosen field, or obtain a professional license.

There is, however, one very important recourse. If someone has been arrested of a crime, but was never convicted, he or she can petition the Superior Court to Seal and Destroy his/her Arrest Record pursuant to Penal Code Section 851.8. In order to successfully Petition the Court to Seal and Destroy a Criminal Arrest Record the Petitioner must establish that there was no probable cause for the arrest in the first place. Additionally, the Petition must be filed within two years. The two year Statute of Limitations, however, may be waived for good cause.

If you have sustained a conviction, then you may petition the court for relief by way of penal code 1203.4. Our office is experienced with handling both types of petitions; please contact us at (619) 237-6130.