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Practices > Cleaning Up Your Record > Factual Innocence

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In certain circumstances, where you were improperly accused of something you did not do, you may be eligible for a finding of factual innocence. For example, (1) if you were arrested, but no formal charges were ever filed against you; (2) if you were arrested and charges were filed but then later dismissed; or (3) if your case went to trial and you were acquitted by a jury. These are some examples of how you may be eligible to petition for a finding of factual innocence pursuant to penal code section 851.8.

In a case where no formal charges were ever filed, the petition for factual innocence is first made to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the offense. If the petition is denied by the police, it can then be brought directly to the municipal or superior court having jurisdiction over your matter. In a case where formal charges were filed but later dismissed, then the petition would go straight to the court system. Likewise, if a jury found you not guilty after a jury trial, the motion would be made directly to the judge that heard your trial. Once your factual innocence motion is granted, your records will be sealed and subsequently ordered destroyed.

The attorneys here at WILL & WILL, LLP have the experience you need on your side to ensure you have the best opportunity possible to get your factual innocence petition granted. Call WILL & WILL, LLP or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation about obtaining an order of factual innocence.



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