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How to Clean Up Your Criminal Record  

a guide to dismissals, sealing arrest records, and more
Last Updated: May 31, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Scope of this Guide

This Guide discusses ways of cleaning up your criminal record in California, and contains resources from San Diego County and California in general.

Start with this Home Page and then determine whether you wish to pursue Dismissal (Expungement), Rehabilitation and Pardon, or whether you wish to Seal Your Arrest record.

This is a research guide only; it is not intended to be legal advice. You are strongly encouraged to read the referenced Code sections, as well as the other cited authorities, to see whether these procedures apply to your situation.


Getting a Job

Fresh Start Reentry Resources holds workshops the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month in San Diego to assist with job searching when you have a criminal background. 

Call Maria Beltran at 619 266 4213 for details and an appointment.

Read more in the linked flier below:


Your Criminal Record

One of the first things you'll want to do in order to clean up your criminal record is to identify just exactly what is on your record.  The Court will need this information on most of the forms you will submit to them.

In order to fill out the forms properly you will need to know the following:

  • Your case number (sometimes called your docket number)
  • Date of conviction
  • Codes/Laws you were convicted of violating
  • How did the case resolve? Did you Enter a Plea? Was there a Verdict? If you entered a plea was it 'Guilty' or 'Nolo Contendre'?
  • Did you serve time on probation?
  • Did you pay fines?
  • If you went to prison, where did you serve time?
  • If you went to prison, when were you released?
  • If you were on parole, when did your parole end?

How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Records Information

You may already have all the above information in papers you received from the Court. Review them to see whether you do.

If you were represented by counsel your attorney may have this information.

The Court in which you were convicted may have this information. They will only have information for the county in which the court is located. You can check the San Diego Superior Court here. If you were prosecuted in another county, check that court's website.

You can obtain your criminal record from the California State Deparment of Justice here. There is a fee, and you'll need a Live Scan of your fingerprints. Check the site for details.


What if my record is wrong?

There's a form for that!

If you feel that your record is inaccurate, you'll need to submit a Claim of Alleged Inaccuracy or Incompleteness. Check the CA DOJ site for details.


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