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Sealing Arrest Records in Dublin

Trustworthy Legal Guidance to Help You Put Your Past Behind You

If you were arrested but not convicted, you may be able to seal your arrest record from public view. RLS Criminal Defense can help you determine your eligibility for record sealing and guide you through the legal process step by step. Attorney Ryan Smith is deeply passionate about advocating for defendants and helping them move forward, especially when the legal system is not always friendly to arrested individuals. Attorney Smith will provide honest and trustworthy representation, making sure that you understand all your options and are not being taken advantage of. Let’s seal your Dublin arrest record today.

Contact RLS Criminal Defense for a free consultation to get started. Advocating for clients in Alameda, San Joaquin, and Contra Costa Counties.

Who Can Seal Their Arrest Records?

According to California Penal Code 851.91, individuals who had an arrest that did not result in a conviction may seal their case and hide it from public view. More specifically, those whose circumstances match one of the following may request that their arrest record be sealed:

  • the defendant was arrested but no charges were filed;
  • the defendant was arrested and charged, but the charges were dismissed;
  • the defendant completed a court-approved diversion program, and the charges were dismissed;
  • the defendant completed Deferred Entry of Judgment, and the charges were dismissed;
  • the defendant went to trial and was found not guilty.

An individual is not eligible for record sealing in any of the following situations:

  • they may still be charged with an offense the arrest is based on;
  • the arrest was for murder or another crime that does not have a statute of limitations unless they were acquitted or deemed “factually innocent” (there was no reason for law enforcement to arrest you);
  • they were not charged because they were intentionally evading law enforcement efforts for prosecuting the arrest;
  • they evaded efforts to prosecute the arrest by committing identity fraud and were subsequently charged with the crime of identity fraud.

Those with a history of arrest or convictions for domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse may not qualify as easily for record sealing, but the ultimate decision lies with the judge.

If the judge grants the request for record sealing, the defendant’s arrest and court records will be sealed from the public. However, note that government agencies (e.g., law enforcement) will still have access to the records, and the defendant must still disclose the arrest if asked about it in applications for public office, employment as a peace officer, or a state or local license. 

Recall that record sealing is only an option for those who were arrested but not convicted. Expungement is an option for those seeking to erase a conviction record.

Effects of a Sealed Arrest Record

Criminal records are public. This means potential employers, home sellers, insurance companies, neighbors, and anyone can look up a person’s criminal background. If the individual’s record is sealed, however, the public will no longer have access to it. The only individuals who will still be able to see it are the state and other criminal agencies, who will likely only refer to it in the context of future criminal matters, such as if the person is later prosecuted for a crime. So, with a sealed record, the individual essentially gets a fresh start with their past hidden behind them.

However, do note that sealing an arrest record does not relieve a person from the following:

  • losing their right to possessing or owning a firearm (under California’s “felon with a firearm” law);
  • their existing duty to register as a sex offender (if applicable);
  • legal prohibitions against holding public office;
  • the obligation to disclose evidence of the arrest as required by law if asked on an application for public office, being a peace officer, or for a state or local license or in a contract with the California State Lottery Commission.

If you have been arrested but not convicted, contact an experienced attorney to help you request a sealing of your arrest record. The legal process involves filing a petition with the court and attending a hearing, and it typically takes around 90 days from the date of filing the petition to obtain a court order for sealing your record. If the petition is successful, only you and a criminal justice agency will have access to the record moving forward.

Contact RLS Criminal Defense for legal assistance on your record sealing request. Let’s help you start fresh and leave history in the past. 

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