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.
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) .
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!