Posted by Gurjit Srai In Criminal Defense May 7, 2022 0 Comment

Just because you made a mistake in the past, it shouldn’t continue to haunt you in the future. In certain instances, you can seal your criminal records so that your criminal history is hidden from the public view. This is called a record seal. Sealing your criminal records can make a huge impact on all aspects of your life, especially when it comes to job hunting, finding an apartment, or simply starting fresh. Once you successfully seal your records, your criminal past will not show up in background checks.

The Types of Crimes that Can Get Your Records Sealed

Not all crimes are created equal – meaning not all crimes are eligible for a record seal. California law allows you to seal criminal records in two specific situations:

  • The arrest you want to be sealed did not result in a convictions; or,
  • The arrest happened while you were a juvenile under 18 years of age.

As an adult, you have two avenues under California law to sealing your criminal records. The first method (PC § 851.91) is simpler to attain but does not provide the second method’s ( PC § 851.8) broad relief.

To seal a record under PC § 851.91, your Central Valley criminal attorney must prove:

  • You were arrested;
  • In California;
  • The arrest did not result in any convictions; and,
  • You can no longer have charges filed for this arrest because:
  • The statute of limitations has passed; or,
  • Charges were filed but dismissed.

To seal a criminal record under PC § 851.8, your attorney must show: 

  • You were arrested;
  • In California;
  • Within the prior two years (though this can be waived by request); and,
  • That you were factually innocent of the crime.

Sealing your records under the second method ensures that your entire criminal record is destroyed three years after the arrest. However, under the first method, the court and law enforcement are simply prohibited from disclosing your arrest to any private entity. In other words, your case will not be destroyed but instead updated to show as sealed.

What Is Exactly Sealed?

If your Central Valley criminal defense attorney is able to successfully seal your criminal records, the records to be destroyed include: 

  • Police reports
  • Fingerprints
  • Booking photos, and 
  • Rap sheet entities 

Call an Experienced Central Valley Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Central Valley and is seeking an expungement of your conviction record, it is in your best interest to immediately consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options.  

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.