Blog Introduction: On September 30th, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 731, which will allow Californians to seal old arrests and convictions from their official records. The law is set to take effect on July 1, 2023, and will automatically seal conviction and arrest records in California once a former offender has fully completed their sentence and successfully gone four years without further contact with the justice system. This includes people who have been arrested for a felony, including a felony punishable in the state prison. However, the law will not seal records for anyone convicted of murder, kidnapping or rape and sex offenders will still be required to register in the state’s database. The new law will allow millions of people to gain employment, housing, education opportunities and more.
The Importance of Sealing Criminal Records
A criminal record can have a significant negative impact on an individual’s life, making it difficult or impossible to find employment, housing or obtain scholarships or financial aid for education. In some cases, a criminal record may also result in the loss of certain professional licenses. For many Californians with old criminal records, SB 731 offers a second chance by giving them the opportunity to seal their records and move on with their lives.
How SB 731 Will Work
Under SB 731, criminal records will not be sealed for anyone convicted of murder, kidnapping or rape and sex offenders will still be required to register in the state’s database. For everyone else, after an individual has fully completed their sentence and gone four years without additional contact with the justice system, their conviction and arrest record will be automatically sealed by the court. The bill also allows individuals to petition the court to seal their records sooner if they can show that they have been rehabilitated.
The Impact of SB 731
SB 731 is estimated to impact millions of Californians with old criminal records. By sealing old criminal records, individuals will have a much better chance of finding employment, housing and education opportunities. This could potentially lead to reduced recidivism rates as those with old criminal records will no longer have to worry about their past following them around for the rest of their lives.
SB 731 is a groundbreaking new law that will allow Californians with old criminal records to seal those records from public view. This could potentially lead to increased employment and educational opportunities as well as reduced recidivism rates. The law is set to take effect on July 1st 2023, but it has already generated a lot of excitement and hope among those who stand to benefit from it.