Sealing Arrest Records

Sealing Arrest Records

In California, individuals who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime may face ongoing consequences due to the lingering presence of their arrest records.  An arrest history may show up on a variety of background checks, including for job applications, rental applications, or applications for higher education.  However, California law provides a mechanism to mitigate these consequences through the process of sealing arrest records.  Sealing an arrest record provides individuals who have been arrested with a fresh start and prevents their arrest record from controlling the rest of their lives. 

Understanding Sealing an Arrest Record 

Sealing arrest records is a legal procedure that allows individuals to restrict public access to their arrest records, effectively concealing them from most background checks.  Unlike expungement, which applies to convictions, sealing arrest records focuses on cases where no conviction was obtained or where the charges were dropped or dismissed.  The goal is to provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to move forward in life without the stigma and barriers associated with an arrest record.

Eligibility for Sealing an Arrest Record 

In California, individuals may be eligible to seal their arrest records under specific circumstances.  For example, if a person was arrested but never convicted (i.e., the statute of limitations has run and the crime cannot be prosecuted further; the charges were dismissed by the prosecuting agency; a person was acquitted of the crime; or a conviction occurred but the conviction was vacated or reversed on appeal), that person may petition to seal their arrest record.  Also, a person can request that their arrest be sealed in the interest of justice if they do not exactly fit one of the above-mentioned criteria. 

Process for Sealing an Arrest Record 

An experienced criminal defense attorney such as Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut can seamlessly accomplish this technical and oftentimes difficult process on your behalf.  The process involves filling out a petition to seal the arrest and filing the petition in the courthouse where the arrest was handled.  Next, the prosecuting agency’s office must be served with notice and a copy of all of the documents.  This step allows the prosecution to review your request and provide any objections or arguments opposing the petition.  Depending on whether you were arrested for a felony or for a misdemeanor, the prosecuting agency might be the District Attorney’s Office or a local City Attorney’s Office.  You must also serve the arresting agency’s office.  Once your petition is filed, the court will schedule a hearing.  You must attend the hearing to present your case and support your claim that your arrest should be sealed.  

Benefits to Sealing an Arrest Record 

Sealing arrest records in California offers several potential benefits.  First and foremost, it provides individuals with a chance to protect their privacy and move forward without the stigma associated with an arrest.  Sealed arrest records are generally not accessible to the public or employers conducting background checks, increasing employment and housing opportunities.  Sealing arrest records empowers individuals to overcome barriers, pursue employment and housing opportunities, and embrace a brighter future free from the burden of a past arrest. 

Ultimately, if you are arrested and fit the above-mentioned criteria for getting your arrest record sealed, it is absolutely critical that you discuss your case with a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut has successfully sealed many arrest records and has offered his clients the opportunity for a second chance. 

For more information about sealing your arrest record, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453. 

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Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.