Seal Those Arrest Records!

Finally, a way to seal your arrest records without the need for the court to make a finding of factual innocence! I am very excited by this newly enacted law, as you might be able to glean from the opening line. Before 2018 there was just Penal Code 851.8 which held that in order to seal an arrest record, one needed the court to make a finding that you were factually innocent (essentially, that there was not even enough evidence [probable cause] to make the arrest in the first place). I've filed many strong cases only to denied by the courts (perhaps with the concern that if a court were to grant the motion it would open the arresting officer to civil liability) . Now with Penal Code 851.91, there is an avenue to seal your arrest record (and in some instances, cases that were filed but dimissed) without the court having to find that you are factually innocent. Further, unless your case fall into one of the enumerated exceptions, the sealing may be as a matter of right. Penal Code 851.8 is still on the books and may be the better relief if possible but now we have two avenues to try to clear your record!