California Penal Code Section 851.7
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California Laws > Penal Code > California Penal Code Section 851.7
851.7. (a) Any person who has been arrested for a misdemeanor, with
or without a warrant, while a minor, may, during or after minority,
petition the court in which the proceedings occurred or, if there
were no court proceedings, the court in whose jurisdiction the arrest
occurred, for an order sealing the records in the case, including
any records of arrest and detention, if any of the following
(1) He was released pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b)
of Section 849.
(2) Proceedings against him were dismissed, or he was discharged,
without a conviction.
(3) He was acquitted.
(b) If the court finds that the petitioner is eligible for relief
under subdivision (a), it shall issue its order granting the relief
prayed for. Thereafter, the arrest, detention, and any further
proceedings in the case shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the
petitioner may answer accordingly any question relating to their
(c) This section applies to arrests and any further proceedings
that occurred before, as well as those that occur after, the
effective date of this section.
(d) This section does not apply to any person taken into custody
pursuant to Section 625 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or to
any case within the scope of Section 781 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code, unless, after a finding of unfitness for the
juvenile court or otherwise, there were criminal proceedings in the
case, not culminating in conviction. If there were criminal
proceedings not culminating in conviction, this section shall be
applicable to such criminal proceedings if such proceedings are
otherwise within the scope of this section.
(e) This section does not apply to arrests for, and any further
proceedings relating to, any of the following:
(1) Offenses for which registration is required under Section 290.
(2) Offenses under Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of
the Health and Safety Code.
(3) Offenses under the Vehicle Code or any local ordinance
relating to the operation, stopping, standing, or parking of a
(f) In any action or proceeding based upon defamation, a court,
upon a showing of good cause, may order any records sealed under this
section to be opened and admitted in evidence. The records shall be
confidential and shall be available for inspection only by the court,
jury, parties, counsel for the parties, and any other person who is
authorized by the court to inspect them. Upon the judgment in the
action or proceeding becoming final, the court shall order the
(g) This section shall apply in any case in which a person was
under the age of 21 at the time of the commission of an offense as to
which this section is made applicable if such offense was committed
prior to March 7, 1973.
Last modified: February 22, 2013