Many times when the matter is dismissed, clients just celebrate the fact that it didn’t result in a conviction, and they don’t have to report it as a conviction on most employment applications. Some clients want to take it one step further, and try to seal and destroy the arrest record. They can do that by filing a motion for factual innocence, pursuant to penal code 851.8. What they will do is hire our office to seal and destroy a record, by way of a motion that includes declarations, character letters, points and authorities and other supporting documentation. Ultimately a judge will make the decision of whether to grant or deny the petition. If the judge finds that you were factually innocent then the record will be sealed for 3 years then destroyed.
Here is an example of factual innocence: Let’s say your sister was arrested, and used your name and your identification during the arrest. It came out later that you weren’t actually the person arrested because the fingerprints didn’t match but now that arrest is appearing on your record. We can petition the court to declare you factually innocent of the crime so that the record of arrest can be sealed and destroyed from your record.