Sealing Arrest Records Defense

Sealing Arrest Records (The CARE Act)

Helping Innocent People Protect Their Future

An arrest is not evidence of guilt. An arrest is simply the word we use when law enforcement detains an individual who is suspected of committing a crime. By definition, everyone who has ever been arrested was arrested while innocent (and only a handful are ever proven guilty). Today, there are hundreds of people who have been arrested who have never been charged, whose charges were dropped, or whose charges were acquitted by a jury.

However, none of that information is entered on the arrest record, which follows a person for the rest of his or her life.

Sixty-nine percent of employers look for arrests and convictions when they do background checks on prospective hires. However, only 58 percent of them allow prospects to explain their record—meaning 29 percent of all prospective hires are denied jobs without ever being told why.

That's why, as of January 1, 2018, the CARE Act makes it possible for arrestees to have their records sealed.

Allowing California to Seal Arrest Records from the Public

When California seals an arrest record, it means it cannot be found in a background check. It also gives you the legal right to answer "no" if you're asked if you've been arrested by a prospective employer, landlord, insurer, or state licensing agency. Sealing an arrest record is one of the most beneficial legal actions a citizen can undertake—it ensures better housing opportunities, better employment opportunities, and a better quality of life in general.

The CARE Act allows Californians to petition to have their arrest record sealed if they meet certain criteria:

  • If you were arrested, but no charged were filed.
  • If you were charged, but the charges were dismissed.
  • If you were charged, but you were acquitted or found not guilty.
  • If you were convicted, but the conviction was reversed on appeal.
  • If you were charged, but the charges were dropped after completing a pretrial diversion program.

However, just because it's your right to petition to seal your arrest records doesn't mean it's going to happen. You'll need a lawyer to argue that you're "factually innocent," which is the condition for sealing records. If you attempt to represent yourself, you may destroy your one chance at a better future. Instead, let Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed speak on your behalf. We proudly help clients in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Concord, and the surrounding areas!

Speak to an East Bay criminal defense lawyer about your arrest. Together, we'll review your options and help you set yourself up for better jobs and opportunities. Call (510) 907-6600 or contact us online.

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