Hayward, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: In California, Expunging arrest if the DA did not file charges to avoid showing up in a background check?

In California, What information if any will appear in an employer background check regarding an occurrence of an arrest where the DA dismissed the case and did not file official charges? Will the arrest still appear and is it possible for the arrest to get expunged?

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4 Lawyer Answers
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info needed.

you can often simply expunge a conviction but not an arrest with no filing.

Rhonda Mae Hixon
Rhonda Mae Hixon
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Redding, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Penal Code section 851.91(a): " A person who has suffered an arrest that did not result in a conviction may petition the court to have his arrest and related records sealed, as described in Section 851.92".

There are conditions set forth in those sections that have to be met, and Judicial Council forms

you can use to petition the court. Good luck! Or call a lawyer and give them the code section.

John Karas agrees with this answer

John Karas
John Karas
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Temecula, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Ms. Hixon is correct.

Douglas Hugh Ridley
Douglas Hugh Ridley
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Ventura, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Each employer contracts a different background check service. There are hundreds of different services out there and they all have slightly different results. For example, if you are applying with the CIA they will be scrutinizing each arrest. If you apply in the private sector, however, chances are that your employer will only be searching for convictions and an arrest won't even appear. Doing some due diligence on the employer in advance through their website or a local employment law attorney may greatly assist in determining how to proceed with an individual employer.

If you are concerned about an arrest (where the charges were not filed or were dismissed) then the arrest may be sealed. An expungement is to remove a conviction, whereas an arrest record may be able to be sealed.

The process to seal an arrest is possible on most charges once the statute of limitations has passed by filing a motion with the court. A domestic violence arrest cannot be sealed unless it is in the “interests of justice”.

If you are looking for clarity on your particular case, it would be wise to consult an attorney on your specific matter.

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