Sealing Records in Los Angeles, California
When a person is arrested for a crime they didn’t commit, this will undoubtedly lead to long-term consequences. Even when the person is found not guilty, a wrongful arrest can limit employment opportunities and bring about other undesired repercussions. Fortunately, under California Penal Code 851.8 PC, residents can follow a process that allows them to have their arrest records sealed. Let’s take a closer look at what it means to seal an arrest record.
Understanding the arrest process in California
Before getting into who is eligible to have their records sealed, it is important to understand how the arrest process works. When a person is arrested for a crime, they may or may not be charged with the actual criminal offense. For example, if a person is arrested because she was at the scene during a time period in which her friend was arrested and charged with shoplifting, yet there is no evidence to indicate the person knew about the crime, then she may be released without being charged with a crime. Still yet, though, the arrest will be on her record. There are many types of arrests that can be removed from your record if you understand the proper way to go about having your record sealed.
Who is eligible to have their arrest record sealed in California?
Under PC 851.8, you can have your arrest record sealed and destroyed if you were arrested and criminal charges were never filed against you. In the event that you were charged with a criminal offense but your case was dismissed in court without conviction, then you may be eligible to have your record sealed. Also, if you were acquitted by a jury, you may be eligible for the record to be sealed.
Deadline for Record Expungement
If you want to have your arrest record sealed, it is imperative to understand that you have deadlines you must abide by. If you do not meet these deadlines, there is a good chance that you will not be able to have your record sealed. In most cases, you have a two year limit following the date of your arrest or the filing of the accusatory pleading to file for your record to be sealed.
What is the process of having your arrest record sealed in Los Angeles California?
The length of time that it takes to have your arrest record sealed is about 90 days. The county that you live in will determine whether or not you need to appear in court to have your record sealed. You will need to contact the Circuit Clerk’s office to determine whether or not you have to appear in court. In some instances, your attorney may be able to appear for you. Because there is much paperwork involved in having your record sealed, it is recommended that you contact a law firm that concentrates in sealing criminal records and let a practiced lawyer handle the process for you.