New Law Alert! SB 731 Makes More Criminal Records Eligible for Sealing

(our face when the new SB 731 California law came out)

Have you ever had a run-in with the law that resulted in a criminal record? If so, you’re not alone. Criminal records are surprisingly common, especially for minor offenses

If your record is less than perfect, it can be difficult to find work or housing. But don’t worry – help is on the way! A new bill, SB 731, which takes effect on January 3, 2023, makes more criminal records eligible for sealing. 

This means that if you meet certain requirements, you may be able to have your criminal record hidden from view. Keep reading to learn more about SB 731 and how it could help you.

SB 731 was passed on September 29, 2022, and makes more criminal records eligible for sealing. This bill is designed to help ex-offenders who have turned their lives around by giving them a better chance at finding employment and housing

This is among many new laws which are aimed at promoting rehabilitation, like BPC 480, which prohibits licensing agencies from using expunged convictions against an applicant.

SB 731, signed by California’s Governor, expands the number of records that would meet eligibility criteria for sealing. 

This new bill applies to nonviolent and nonserious offenses, as well as some serious offenses, if the offender was a juvenile at the time of the offense. 

The bill would apply to offenses like domestic violence. It also excludes those convicted of serious and violent felonies, and felonies requiring sex offender registration. 

Importantly, SB 731 does not automatically seal eligible records—individuals MUST still petition the court for records to be sealed. 

This bill addresses important concerns about criminal records affecting individuals’ ability to obtain employment and housing. People with criminal records often face discrimination in these areas, making it difficult for them to find work and housing. 

SB 731 will help to reduce this discrimination by making it easier for people with records to have their records sealed. This bill is a step in the right direction toward reducing barriers for people with criminal records.

Criteria for eligibility

The bill would mainly apply to felony convictions, although there are a few conditions. Some eligibility requirements include that:

  • The individual was convicted after January 1, 2005;
  • The individual completed the sentence, probation, or parole as required;
  • The individual was not convicted of any new felony convictions for four years.

The court is still mandated to grant relief under their own discretion, depending on the factors surrounding individual cases, which is why having an experienced post-conviction attorney help with the process is essential.

Whether you’re seeking DUI expungement or looking to seal criminal records, this is a complicated process in California. 

The first step is to petition the court. The next step is to file paperwork with the district attorney’s office and the clerk of the court. If there are no objections, the petition will be granted, and your records will be sealed. However, if there are objections, you will need to appear in court to argue your case. 

It is important to have an experienced defense attorney on your side to help you navigate the sealing process. Sealing your criminal record can give you a fresh start and help you move on with your life. Contact your Criminal Defense Heroes, P.C. today at (323)529 3660 to discuss your case and see if sealing your record is right for you.

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