Sealing an Arrest in California
California law provides a legal procedure for sealing an arrest that never led to a conviction. (If you were arrested and convicted, see our page on expunging a California conviction.)
You may be surprised to learn that it’s actually harder to seal an arrest than it is to expunge a conviction. In order to seal an arrest that did not lead to a conviction, we are required to prove that you were “factually innocent” of the offense. If there was any reasonable basis for your arrest, the court will usually deny these motions.
If you were innocent of the offense for which you were arrested, our strategy is to prepare a “Declaration of Innocence” for you. This declaration explains the circumstances of the arrest and why you were indeed factually innocent. We file this declaration along with our petition to seal your arrest. This has proven very successful in cases in which our client was wrongly arrested and never prosecuted.
These cases are also difficult because they often require a two-step process, that involves directly petitioning the arresting agency and then filing a petition in court. In many circumstances, failure to follow the proper procedure will result in a summary denial of your petition, which wastes time and money.
If you are interested in having our law firm petition to seal all records of your arrest, and you were factually innocent of the offense and never convicted, we need to start by obtaining and reviewing a copy of your official criminal record. To get started, just click the button below.