Petition for Sealing Arrest Records (Penal Code 851.91)

Petition for Sealing Arrest Records

If you are unsuccessful in efforts to obtain a finding of factual innocence you may be eligible for an order sealing the arrest records. This doesn’t destroy the records, it seals them so that people can’t see them. You are still required to disclose the arrest (and sealing) when running for public office or applying for a professional license.

You can make this if the prosecutor never filed a case of the case was dismissed. You don’t have to make a finding of factual innocence here. You merely need to show that the case was dismissed or not filed and that the prosecution can’t file charges now. This can either be because the statute of limitations has run or because the case has been dismissed. Misdemeanors can only be dismissed once. Felonies can be dismissed twice. Wobblers have to wait for the felony statute of limitations.

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