Seal Arrest Record
Most arrests lead to a criminal record. For certain arrests involving misdemeanors and less serious felonies that occurred after January 1, 2021, the Department of Justice is required to automatically seal an arrest record. Arrests that occurred prior to January 1, 2021, stay on a person’s record permanently, even if no charges are filed. As of January 1, 2018, the C.A.R.E. Act (Pen. Code, § 851.91) allows people to petition to seal arrest records if: 1) the case was dismissed or never filed, 2) the person was found “not guilty” after trial, 3) the case was reversed or remanded by the appellate court; or 4) the person has successfully completed a drug diversion program. If an arrest record is sealed, the arrest will no longer show up on most non-law enforcement background checks, with some exceptions.