Can a Drunk in Public 647(f) Arrest Be Sealed in California?
By: Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse
As a former Oakland police officer, I arrested many people for being drunk
in public—always for their safety. Now, on the other side of the
law as a criminal defense attorney, I help represent those same people
who have been charged with disorderly conduct. However, our clients who
have been booked—meaning arrested, fingerprinted, and photographed—have
the possibility of sealing their arrest record and not having it show
up on a criminal background check.
California SB 393
According to California SB 393, people who were arrested but never convicted
can have their California arrest records sealed as a matter of right (automatically)
when one or more of the following has occurred:
- No criminal charges were ever filed;
- Criminal charges were filed for 647(f), but later dismissed;
- The defendant was found “not guilty” in a jury trial;
- The defendant has successfully completed a post-plea deferred entry of judgment;
- The statute of limitations has expired
In California, prosecutors have one year from the date of the offense to
press charges for 647(f), Drunk in Public, in California. If the statute
of limitations passes, the prosecution may be barred from filing charges
in relation to the drunk in public matter.
Why Seal an Drunk in Public Arrest?
Criminal records are visible to the public, which means that anyone can
access a person’s criminal history. If a prospective employee, apartment
owner, or insurance company runs a background check, they’ll be
able to see an arrest. As a result, an employer may dismiss a job candidate
simply because of their arrest record, regardless of conviction. Once
an arrest record is sealed, the public can no longer see it.
If you have been arrested in California for Disorderly Conduct, i.e., Drunk
in Public, contact our office for help with the sealing of your arrest
record. For further information please see California Senate Bill 393
that was signed into law on October 12, 2017 by California Governor Jerry Brown.
Call (925) 452-4065 to talk to our Dublin criminal defense lawyer
at the Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse.