Overview Description

Records relating to an arrest that did not result in conviction and for which the petitioner is factually innocent can be sealed by the court. After three years, the records of the arrest and notice of the sealing are destroyed. Cal. Pen. Code § 851.8(c).

Ineligible Category or Citation

This section does not apply to offenses classified as infractions. Cal. Pen. Code § 851.8(n)

Procedure General

The petition must be made to the court. For the specific procedure, see Cal. Pen. Code § 851.8(b).


There is no statutory language regarding fees.


The law enforcement agency issues the petitioner a written declaration that he or she is factually innocent of the charges and is exonerated. The arrest is deemed not to have occurred and the person can answer any question about the arrest accordingly. Cal. Pen. Code § 851.8(f).

Waiting Periods

The petition must be filed within two years of arrest. Cal. Pen. Code § 851.8(l).

(non-prod server)