California Closing Criminal Records

SB-731 Automatically Sealing of Conviction and Arrest Records

A social justice bill that implements a system to prospectively and retroactively seal conviction and arrest records.
1. The automated sealing of all arrest records that do not result in conviction; and
2. Phased relief for conviction records by sealing all records following completion of terms of incarceration, post-release supervision, provided there are no new felony convictions or pending chargers.

The bill was signed by Governor Newsom on September 27, 2022 and the provisions of the bill will take effect July 1, 2023.

From California Association of Licensed Investigators:

SB 731 still allows law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to have access to criminal records. In the interests of an equitable system of justice, criminal records must be available to both sides. In both criminal and civil litigation, this information can be important to:
– Addressing credibility of a witness

– Invoking the Sixth Amendment right to confront witnesses with impeachment information.

Individuals convicted and who subsequently complete their sentences, and any parole or probation obligations, are part of our society. CALI supports a process to enable people to have a second chance, particularly for employment and housing. However, there are numerous situations where the information that an individual has been convicted of a crime can be of vital importance to protect members of our society.

Does not strike a balance between the ability of convicted individuals to build a new life and protection of the public.
– Evaluating stakeholders in mergers, acquisitions, & business partnerships.

– Evaluating an individual either as a roommate, or in a romantic relationship.

– Evaluating parental custody in divorce cases.

– Evaluating violent history in situations involving restraining orders.

– Evaluating violent history regarding disgruntled employees in business threat assessments to avoid active shooter incidents.

– Evaluating political opponents or assessing individuals running for election or considered as a political appointee.

– Locating relatives in probate and missing heir searches.

– Locating witnesses in class action lawsuits.

– Determining risk when an applicant convicted of financial fraud applies for a financial position.