California Senate Bill 731 (SB 731) – which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom and took effect on July 1, 2023 – makes the sealing of criminal records available for defendants convicted of a felony on or after January 1, 2005, if they complete all terms of incarceration, probation, supervision, and parole and are not convicted of a new felony for four years.
Authored by California State Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), SB 731 specifies that conviction record relief does not release the defendant from the terms and conditions of unexpired criminal protective orders. Registered sex offenders are excluded and those convicted of serious and violent crimes would have to petition a court to have their records sealed.
Criminal records will still be provided to school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and private schools that conduct background checks for job applicants. People who have their records sealed also would be required to disclose their criminal history if asked when applying for a job in law enforcement or public office. More information about SB 731 is here.
The State Assembly and State Senate passed SB 731 in June and August 2022. Previous law required the Department of Justice to review records in the statewide criminal justice databases and identify persons eligible for automatic conviction record relief if, on or after January 1, 1973, they were sentenced to probation or convicted of an infraction or misdemeanor.
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