Although getting arrested does not mean that you were convicted of any crime, your arrest records are permanent and come up during a background check, which can negatively impact your personal and professional opportunities.
California law allows you to petition for the sealing of your arrest records under certain circumstances. However, you should hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the process to ensure that you do not only meet the eligibility criteria but fill out all the necessary paperwork to increase your chances of receiving a judge’s approval of your request.
If you are looking to get your juvenile sealed records, you need to meet other requirements and should speak with your attorney about your eligibility.
What Are the Benefits of Getting My Arrest Records Sealed from the Public?
Sealing your arrest records means that they will not show up anymore when a future employer or another institution runs a background check on you. It also gives you the legal right to say that you have no history of being arrested.
This clean slate can increase your opportunities for jobs, housing, insurance, and other activities that require a background check.
Once your arrest records are sealed, the public cannot access information such as your:
- Arrest records
- Police report
- Booking photo
- Court records
Although your arrest records may be sealed from the public, those records may still be disclosed to a California government agency or the Department of Justice.
What Is the CARE Act?
The CARE Act has been effective since January 1, 2018, and allows California residents to request that their arrest records be sealed from the public.
You have the right to petition for the sealing of your arrest records if you were:
- Arrested, but had no charges filed against you
- Charged, but you obtained a dismissal of those charges
- Charged, but you received an acquittal, or the court found you not guilty
- Charged, but the judge dropped the charges after you completed a pretrial diversion program
- Convicted, but you successfully appealed and obtained a reversal of the conviction
What Is the Process of Petitioning for My Arrest Records to Get Sealed?
The first step should be to hire a criminal defense attorney who can review your case to ensure that you qualify under the CARE Act. They can address any questions or concerns you may have, and if you meet the requirements, they can accompany you at every step of the process.
You need to fill out and submit your petition to the county or city in which you were arrested. If you face criminal charges, you should file the petition with the court that filed the charges.
Your petition must include the following information:
- Your name and date of birth
- The location and the date of your arrest
- The name of the law enforcement agency that made the arrest
- The reasons for your arrest
If relevant, you must also include your case number, police report number, and the date on which you appeared before the court. Your attorney can help you determine which elements to provide.
You need to serve the documents to either the arresting law enforcement agency or the office of the prosecuting attorney. If the prosecutor opposes your petition, you may need to attend a court hearing.
Choose The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed to Get Your Arrest Records Sealed
At The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, our team has a strong record of helping clients obtain the sealing of their arrest records. We carefully evaluate your situation and educate you on the petition process. We can assist you in filling out the necessary form and if you need to attend a hearing, we can accompany you.
Attorney Ahmed has a thorough and up-to-date knowledge of California laws and can help you secure a positive outcome to create a better future for you. You can expect clear and open communication as we advocate for your rights.
Are you wondering whether you can apply to get your arrest records sealed in the East Bay area? Contact The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today at (510) 907-6600 to schedule a consultation to learn about your options under the CARE Act.