When can I get my petty theft charge sealed? 14 Answers as of April 04, 2011

I have a question about getting a criminal record sealed in California. I was convicted of petty theft in 2006 but took care of the offense. My case was dismissed after I went through the diversion program. Has enough time passed so that I can now get my record sealed?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If your case was actually dismissed after a diversion program (an unusual outcome in most Northern California counties) you do not have any further need for a "sealing". Unless you were under 18 at the time records cannot be "sealed" in any event. The remedy after successful completion of probation (Penal Code section 1203.4) is a post conviction dismissal which then allows one to say they were not convicted. The records are not sealed however and anyone who goes to the court clerk's office can see them. (with the exception of juvenile records which are not open to the public in any event.)
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2011
The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg
The Law Offices of Michael S. Berg | Michael Berg
Technically, there are no time restrictions as to when you can get your record expunged/sealed. Most judges like to see at least half of the probationary period completed. In your case, you are clearly eligible and can do so immediately.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/4/2011
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
There shouldn't be anything to seal after a diversion Give us a call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
Pursuant to Penal Code Section 851.8, you are not eligible to have your record "sealed and destroyed" on the grounds that you were "convicted". In general, if you 1) were arrested, but the prosecutor never filed charges or 2) had your case dismissed in court under a declaration of factual innocence, or 3) were acquitted by a jury following a jury trial, you would be eligible to have your records "sealed and destroyed". Depending on what you were convicted of you may want to explore "expunging" your conviction as a starting point. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/1/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
You can file a petition and motion for that purpose, based on a showing of good cause sufficient to convince a judge to do so. If serious about pursuing this, and if the case is in Southern California courts, feel free to contact me to discuss the facts and costs.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/29/2010
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    If your case was dismissed then it does not appear as a conviction. There is no process in California to "seal" records other than having a court find you factually innocent. Since it was dismissed because you successfully completed a diversion program that is unlikely.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/29/2010
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    If the case was dismissed, there is nothing to seal. If there was a conviction, you may be eligible for expungement after completing probation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    I do not know whether a record of theft diversion can be sealed. But I would point you to California Penal Code 1001.55 in case you are not familiar with it. Section 1001.55 provides:
    (a) Any record filed with the Department of Justice shall indicate the disposition in those cases diverted pursuant to this chapter. Upon successful completion of a diversion program, the arrest upon which the diversion was based shall be deemed to have never occurred. The divertee may indicate in response to any question concerning his or her prior criminal record that he or she was not arrested or diverted for the offense, except as specified in subdivision (b). A record pertaining to an arrest resulting in successful completion of a diversion program shall not, without the diverteess consent, be used in any way that could result in the denial of any employment, benefit, license, or certificate.

    (b) The divertee shall be advised that, regardless of his or her successful completion of diversion, the arrest upon which the diversion was based may be disclosed by the Department of Justice in response to any peace officer application request and that, notwithstanding subdivision (a), this section does not relieve him or her of the obligation to disclose the arrest in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire or application for a position as a peace officer, as defined in Section 830.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    Desert Defenders
    Desert Defenders | John Jimenez
    Yes, you can now attempt to have it sealed. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as it is a difficult process to accomplish.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    I think you may be a bit confused as to the laws in California. Unless you were under 18 at the time of the offense your record will never be sealed. It is possible to have your record expunged, however it appears that you completed a diversion program. If you successfully completed a diversion program your record will appear as a dismissal which will be the same as an expungment. You are not required to disclose your record to potential employers as you were not convicted of the crime. The only way to get your arrest record is through a showing of factual innocence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/31/2011
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson
    Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
    You need to go to the courthouse and pull your record for this conviction. If you completed a diversion program and the case was dismissed then you have no record to seal! A dismissal is a dismissal. If you did not earn a dismissal and you are still on probation for that offense, you can petition the court to terminate your probation and expunge the case. If probation has ended, you can seek an expugement tomorrow.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
    V U.S.A. Law Offices
    V U.S.A. Law Offices | Michael Vu
    Your case was dismissed through a diversion program, and therefore you have no conviction whatsoever. However, you will not be able to seal your record of arrest because you have to prove factual innocence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/28/2010
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