Darren Chaker - Arrest Record Destruction

Darren Chaker notes California Penal Code § 851.8 allows a defendant who was arrested, but not convicted to seal and destroy records. As a Court of Appeal put it best, the "statute allowing for finding of factual innocence upon acquittal is for the benefit of those defendants who have not committed a crime; it permits those petitioners who can show that the state should never have subjected them to the compulsion of the criminal law--because no objective factors justified official action--to purge the official records of any reference to such action."  People v. Adair (2003) 129 Cal.Rptr.2d 799, 29 Cal.4th 895, 62 P.3d 45. One the court orders the record sealed, each law enforcement agency must then destroy their records three years from the date of arrest, however all records are sealed immediately and the arrest is deemed never to have occurred.