Seal and Destroy an Arrest Record

Motion to Seal and Destroy

The Motion to Seal and Destroy is available at the Public Defender's Office. This is a motion which is commonly referred to as a finding of factual innocence. If you were arrested but not convicted of a crime you may petition the court to have your arrest records sealed and eventually destroyed.

(The important factor is whether you suffered a conviction. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and later had it dismissed per 1203.4 PC, California's Request for Dismissal process, you are not eligible for this type of relief.)

Who is Eligible?

If you
1. were arrested, but the prosecutor never filed criminal charges,
2. had your case dismissed in court, or
3. were acquitted by a jury following a Jury Trial (found factually innocent).


You may petition to clear your arrest record up to two years after the date of arrest or the filing of the accusatory pleading, whichever one is later. However, has discretion to hear cases beyond the time limits outlined based on good cause reasoning.

If you find you meet the criteria for a Seal and Destroy Motion you may pick up the forms at the Public Defender's during regular hours or download them from the forms section of this website.