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California Record Sealing FAQFrequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our California record sealing service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.

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Comments (6)

Topic: California Record Sealing FAQ
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Camille Hill
9th August 2017 9:36am
My daughter was granted a 851.8 finding on 06/30/17. How long does it take to seal the records involved? Thank you.
Thank you for your question.  The records are sealed immediately, meaning that immediately after the judge made the order your daughter is now innocent of any charges and can deny ever being arrested for the offense.  

Even though the legal effect of the order is immediate, the paper and digital records are not immediately sealed, although they should be sealed very quickly.  Generally, the Court records will be sealed within the week and all of the other records are sealed as soon as the sealing order is received and processed by the agency with the record (such as the California Department of Justice and the arresting agency). If you verify that a record is still not sealed after 60 days, we reccomend a record update service to make a renewed push for the update.  

Lori S.
29th August 2015 1:40am
Why would a judge seal a case before the case is finished?
This relief is generally only allowed in cases that did not result in a conviction and either the charges were dismissed or enough time has passed that the charges are no longer considered pending. Without knowing more about the case and the circumstances surrounding the sealing, it is impossible to say why a case would be sealed while it is unfinished. I am unclear if the sealing was granted under this arrest record sealing statute or if the case file has just been sealed from the public view. The court has discretion to seal court records at any time if there are good reasons necessitating the sealing such as the safety of an individual involved, such as a possible juvenile victim named in the records.
6th March 2015 6:24am
Can an arrest that was never charged, and the 1 year time limit for the DA to charge has come and gone, be used against you in another trial?
Probably not, but it really depends on how/why the DA is trying to get it entered into evidence. If it is just going to be used as evidence to show you were arrested previously which means you are more likely to have committed this currently charged offense than it is not likely going to be admissible (as just evidence of your "bad character"). But if there is evidence relating to that previous charge and it is somehow related to this current prosecution (motive, etc.) then it could possibly be admissible. It all will come down to the rules of evidence and if the DA is able to prove that arrest is somehow material to this case and not just evidence of your character.
25th September 2014 6:01am
I was arrested, booked and charged with a petty theft misdemeanor, but later reduced it to an infraction with a fine. Can this arrest record be sealed?
Jenna Thorne
29th September 2014 6:58pm
No, unfortunately this record is not eligible to be sealed, because you pled guilty to the infraction. Cases that led to a conviction are not eligible for arrest record sealing because you must show factual innocence. However, you are most likely eligible to have the infraction expunged (dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4). Please run through our online eligibility test to determine your eligibility or call our office to discuss your case in more detail.
29th September 2014 8:01pm
Ms. Thorne is correct. One of the good things about having an infraction expunged is that it can be denied in all instances; whereas expunged misdemeanors and felonies still need to be disclosed in very limited circumstances.

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