California Law Allows All Arrest and Prosecution Records Sealed and Destroyed When a Petition for Factual Innocence is Granted

By: Wallin & Klarich

Being arrested can be one of the most frightening and stressful experiences an individual can go through. Beyond the threat of loss of liberty, the negative social and economic consequences of an arrest can often be long lasting. However, under certain circumstances, the California Penal Code allows for all records of an arrest to be sealed and destroyed through a Petition for Factual Innocence.

California Penal Code Section 851.8 provides for a Petition for Factual Innocence (PFI). A judge who grants a PFI will order that all arrest and prosecution records to be sealed. Once the records are sealed, the seal will last for three years from the date of the arrest, at which time all records are destroyed. The destruction of records includes the PFI itself along with arrest records.

Whether a Petition for Factual Innocence is granted varies depending on a number of issues. Further, a petition must conform to certain statutorily mandated time restrictions. Hiring a criminal defense attorney in California is the most reliable way to ensure all procedures are handled correctly.

If you or a loved one need to have your record sealed, it is imperative that you hire an aggressive, experienced criminal defense firm. Hiring an experienced criminal defense law firm can greatly increase your chances of having your petition granted. The skilled San Diego criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping people for over 30 years.

Please feel free to contact Wallin & Klarich to discuss your case. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-280-6839,or go to our website at for more information.

Posted In: Clearing Your Criminal Record