Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do you have a criminal record?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Do you have arrest charges that were never heard in court or dismissed, or were you acquitted for the charges?
  • Have you recently filled out a job application and been asked the question: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

While there are limitations on who can see your record, many employers and licensing agencies have legal access to your record and other employers may obtain it unlawfully.  Still, others may ask you to list your criminal convictions. If you know exactly what your record reveals before you apply for a job or license, you’ll have the opportunity to think about the best way to talk about your convictions with the job interviewer.

  • How long does it take to expunge, seal or purge the records of a case?

Do not expect immediate results if you are trying to expunge or seal entries on your rap sheet. The criminal justice system in California is one of the largest and busiest in the country. For this reason, it will probably take at least 3 months to expunge or seal your records. If you are going to be fingerprinted for a job, start “cleaning up” your record far in advance.

DOJ generally processes a request to have a marijuana record purged within 2 months.

  • How do I know that my case has been expunged, sealed or purged?

The easiest way to check whether your records have been expunged, sealed or purged by DOJ is to request a second copy of your record. For instructions on how to get a copy of your DOJ record click here.