Seal and Destroy Arrest Records



If you were arrested, but never convicted of the crime you were arrested for, then that arrest will show on your permanent criminal record and can be seen by potential employers if they do a background check. Moreover, if charges were filed against you and then the case was subsequently dismissed, then those charges are also visible on you your permanent criminal record.

The simple fact is that having an arrest on your record hurts your marketability with potential employers. Fortunately, we may be able to get your arrest record, and any information surrounding the arrest, officially sealed.



California Penal Code 851.8 allows us to petition the appropriate agencies to get your arrest record sealed for good. You are eligible to seal your arrest records in California if you were arrested as an adult and were:

  1. Not charged with the crime, or
  2. Arrested and charged, but the charges were later dismissed, or
  3. Arrested and charged, but were found not guilty.

Under California Penal Code 851.8, generally speaking, you can petition to clear your arrest record up to two years after (1) the date of your arrest, or (2) the filing of the accusatory pleading, whichever is later. However, the judge has the discretion to hear cases beyond these time limits based on good cause.

Therefore, in contrast to popular belief, sealing is not automatic. You have to be pro-active, as the burden is on you to show that you are “factually innocent” of the charges. The Court must find that there is no reasonable cause to believe that you committed the crime. Thus, it is important that you have proper representation, so you meet this standard of proof. Moreover, if the court denies your motion, it can also dismiss it with prejudice, which prevents you from bringing the motion again.



Sealing and destroying your adult arrest records is a completely different process than sealing your juvenile records. You are eligible to seal your California juvenile criminal record if you are:

  1. Currently an adult, or the jurisdiction of the juvenile court terminated at least five years ago, and
  2. As an adult, you have not been convicted of any crimes of moral turpitude (that is, crimes that involve dishonesty or immoral behavior), and
  3. There is no pending civil litigation based on the juvenile incident.



If the Petition for Factual Innocence (“PFI”) is granted, all arrest and prosecution records will be sealed. The PFI order, the arrest record, fingerprints, mug shots, the Department of Justice records and any other agency that has arrest records are sealed for three-years and then physically destroyed.

Moreover, you can legitimately and honestly state that you have never been arrested for a crime.

At the Law Office of Brett Parker Davison, we understand the particular needs of our client’s and work diligently to preserve their future. If you need to have your criminal record sealed and destroyed for a work related reason, or if you just want to clean up your record in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Orange County, it is vital that you seek the services of a criminal defense attorney with experience with these types of cases. If you want your case sealed and expunged, whether an adult or juvenile incident, call us today!