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Name: People v. Bermudez
Case #: A119028
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 03/27/2009

The petition to seal arrest records was barred by the two-year limitation on filing. Bermudez was arrested in 2001 for numerous offenses. The case against him was dismissed in 2002. Three years after the dismissal, Bermudez served an informal petition to seal and destroy arrest records pursuant to Penal Code section 851.8. In 2007, he filed a formal petition to seal the arrest records, stating that he did not know that the arrest records were affecting his job search. The prosecutor opposed the motion, arguing that the petition was untimely because it was filed more than two years from the arrest date. The trial court denied the petition as untimely. The appellate court affirmed. Pursuant to section 851.8, the two-year limitation guards against the presentation of stale claims of factual innocence and encourages a swift conclusion to these petitions. Late filing is only permitted for good cause, which was not shown here.