Destroying Arrest Records in Los Angeles
How to Destroy Arrest Records in California: A Guide
In the state of California, destruction of arrest records is possible, but the eligibility rules are intricate, and the court has significant discretion when reviewing the information that could limit the process. Therefore, it is crucial to have an experienced and effective Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who understands the arrest record destruction process and potential expungement of a criminal conviction. Without a solid legal representation, it is never a good decision to attempt this legal motion as the court may reject the request, even if the arrest record is eligible for consideration.
Who is Eligible for Arrest Record Destruction?
To qualify for arrest record destruction, the defendant must demonstrate that they were arrested as part of an investigation but were not convicted of the crime. The defendant’s prior criminal history is not necessarily a component of the decision, but it can be a factor evaluated by the judge when issuing a ruling. For individuals who were never charged, they only need to request sealing and destruction, while those charged with offenses will have an extra step in the process.
Contacting the Government Agency for Arrest Record Destruction
When an individual is arrested but never charged, the police department conducting the arrest often holds the arrest record for three years before destroying all evidence of the arrest. However, this does not always happen, and the defendant can experience challenges in the future, particularly when seeking employment based on the arrest record. In such a scenario, the defendant must contact the arresting agency, who has the authority to refuse arrest record destruction. If the agency declines, the defendant can request the court to hear the case and determine whether the arrest record should be sealed or destroyed.
Petitioning the Court for Arrest Record Destruction
After contacting the arresting agency, the defendant’s Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will file a petition with the court requesting ordered sealing and destruction. The petition is filed in the court where the arrest occurred, and all pertinent records to the arrest are presented for the judge’s consideration. If the defendant was never charged or was acquitted by a jury, they are automatically eligible to have their arrest record sealed without prejudice and destroyed by the arresting agency. However, if the defendant was charged but not convicted, the request may be denied unless the attorney proves the defendant’s factual innocence.
Proving Factual Innocence
Many times individuals are arrested on superficial evidence that does not hold up in court. However, this does not necessarily mean the defendant is wholly innocent, which becomes a problem when trying to destroy arrest records. Although the prosecutor has the burden to prove the defendant’s guilt in a criminal prosecution, the defense attorney must establish that the defendant was not involved by presenting evidence that excludes the defendant from culpability. Thus, it’s critical to have an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who understands how to build an expungement and records destruction request case and has a reasonable expectation of a positive outcome.
Eligibility Table for Arrest Record Destruction
The tables below contain information on who is eligible for arrest record destruction in California.
Who Is Eligible For Arrest Record Destruction in California?
|Never Charged||Individuals who were arrested but never charged can request the sealing and destruction of their arrest records|
|Acquitted||Individuals who were not convicted of the crime or were acquitted by a jury are eligible for automatic sealing and destruction of their arrest records|
|Charged, Not Convicted||Individuals who were charged with an offense but not convicted are eligible for arrest record destruction only if they can prove their factual innocence|
Arrest Record Destruction Process in California
|Step 1||Contact the arresting agency requesting the arrest record destruction; agency holds the arrest record for three years upon which they destroy all evidence of arrest|
|Step 2||If the arresting agency refuses the request or does not respond, file a petition in the court of jurisdiction where the arrest occurred|
|Step 3||The court considers all records pertinent to the arrest during the hearing|
|Step 4||The court approves or denies the request; if approved, the arresting agency destroys all evidence of the arrest record|
In conclusion, seeking the destruction of the arrest record in California is not an easy task. It requires an experienced and aggressive Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who can build a solid case to convince the court that the records should be sealed or destroyed. While eligibility is limited to specific categories, the defendant must prove their factual innocence, which can be complicated. Thus, it is imperative to have a qualified criminal defense attorney who knows how to navigate the expungement and records destruction process, ensuring a positive outcome.
CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS