California Factual Innocence Petition Lawyers

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What is Actual Innocence?

Actual innocence is a claim to appeal a conviction using new evidence available after a defendant’s original trial. However, it’s not used in cases where a person was accused of a crime and found innocent or in cases where the charges were dropped. In some states like California, the arrest stays on the person’s criminal record. But in California, an person can petition for factual innocence.

What is Factual Innocence?

Factual innocence is a document submitted to the court requesting an arrest and/or conviction be wiped off their criminal record.

Who Can a Factual Innocence Petition Help?

The petition helps individuals who have been:

Is a Factual Innocence Petition the Same Thing as an Expungement?

Yes, an expungement seals a person’s criminal conviction like a factual innocence petition. The difference is the petition is typically for people who were arrested and never charged or completed an alternative to the sentence handed down, such as diversion. 

How Does the Petition Work?

The petitioner must file a document with the local California arresting police agency. A copy must also be sent to the District Attorney’s office. A third copy of the petition is sent to the court approximately two months after the statute of limitation expires on the charge.

Can The Police Department Object?

Yes, the police department has the right to object your petition for factual innocence.

Can I File the Petition if I Was Arrested and Charges are Still Pending?

No. You must wait until the charge or charges are resolved. The charge usually must conclude with a dismissal or not guilty verdict.

Will There Be Any Record of My Petition in Court Documents?

No. The court seals the arrest or conviction, as well as the petition.

Do I Need Help with a Factual Innocence Petition?

Yes, contact a criminal lawyer to determine what you need to do to remove the arrest or conviction.

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Last Modified: 05-09-2016 11:45 AM PDT

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