Getting your arrest records sealed or destroyed in San Diego County

If you were wrongly arrested in San Diego County and you want your arrest records sealed or destroyed, your are not without recourse. Subject to some procedural hurdles your records can be sealed or destroyed.

For starters, the bulk of your relief is controlled by California Penal Code Section 851.8.

If you’re arrested and charges are never filed against you, you have to petition the arresting agency to get your records sealed or destroyed.  If that agency doesn’t respond within 60 days, its deemed denied and then you can move on to filing in California Superior Court. To win your case at superior court you must get a finding of factual innocence.

A finding of factual innocence and an order for the sealing and destruction of records pursuant to this section shall not be made unless the court finds that no reasonable cause exists to believe that the arrestee committed the offense for which the arrest was made.

Further, the burden is on you, the applicant, to show that you did not commit the offense for which you were arrested.

In any court hearing to determine the factual innocence of a party, the initial burden of proof shall rest with the petitioner to show that no reasonable cause exists to believe that the arrestee committed the offense for which the arrest was made. If the court finds that this showing of no reasonable cause has been made by the petitioner, then the burden of proof shall shift to the respondent to show that a reasonable cause exists to believe that the petitioner committed the offense for which the arrest was made.

If charges were filed, but there was no conviction, you can petition the court that dismissed the charges. If that court agrees that you are factually innocent then a hearing may occur with the prosecuting attorney to determine the outcome of your dismissal.

As you can see, each circumstance leads to a different series of steps, and potentially a different result.

If you need help navigating this process call us now for a free consultation.

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