Three Petitions to Seal Records of Arrests Pursuant to Penal Code section 851.91 Granted for One Client in Same Day!

Our client is a non-citizen seeking naturalization and recently retained our office to review his California Department of Justice, “Criminal History Record” to determine what post-conviction relief may be available to him, if any.

From a review of our client’s “Criminal History Record,” he had multiple arrests that did not result in case filings and/or convictions; however, these offenses were incorrectly reflecting as “bench warrants” on his criminal record. For immigration purposes, a bench warrant may reflect an unresolved criminal case to the federal government and would likely need to be resolved before moving forward with pursuing naturalization.

As we investigated further into these arrests that were reflecting as bench warrants, we determined that one of the cases had been dismissed in 1980 pursuant to Penal Code section 1385, “In the Interests of Justice,” and the other arrests from 1981 and 1982 was never actually filed in court.

Based on our experience we believed the most effective method of correcting our client’s Department of Justice Criminal History Record was to petition for the arrests to be sealed pursuant to Penal Code section 851.91. Given that none of these arrests resulted in a conviction, our client would be eligible for relief under this Section and then, according to the procedure of Section 851.91, the Department of Justice would be ordered to seal the records on our client’s Criminal History Record, thus resolving the bench warrant issues.

Our office then filed the three petitions to seal the records of arrest pursuant to Penal Code section 851.91 and they were all granted by the court on the same day!

This was a creative and effective method to resolving our client’s issues with his Department of Justice Criminal History Record!

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