DUI arrests don't always lead to convictions in court. Police officer mistakes, faulty breathalyzers and crime lab errors may get your charges reduced or dismissed. Visit our California DUI page to learn more.
The law — California Penal Code 851.87 — is based on Senate Bill 393, which Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on October 11, 2017. For purposes of PC 851.87, an arrest is deemed not to have resulted in a conviction if:
No criminal charges were ever filed,
Criminal charges were filed but were later dismissed,
The defendant was found “not guilty” (acquitted) at a jury trial,
There are some exceptions to the Penal Code 851.87. In particular, there is no automatic right to seal an arrest record if the petitioner’s record shows a pattern of:
Child abuse, or
However, such petitioners can still get their arrest sealed if doing so would be in the interests of justice – for instance, because disclosing a particular arrest would result in hardship to the petitioner.
An arrest may also legally appear in a background check if someone applies to be a law enforcement officer in California, or if a law requires disclosure in connection with running for public office, licensing by a state or local agency, or contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.