In this video, a former California DA explains how to seal and destroy arrest records
Per Penal Code 851.8, a person is eligible to seal and destroy arrest records in situations where he was arrested for a crime but never convicted in court. This could be because the district attorney declined to file charges (a DA reject). Or it could be because the charges were dismissed in court by the judge, the prosecutor, or pursuant to a not guilty verdict at jury trial.
To obtain a sealing and destruction of arrest records, usually one must first have a hearing in court where the judge must make a finding of factual innocence. In a DA reject situation, one must first petition the police department with a request that it destroy the records.
When this relief is granted, it means the records will be sealed for 2 years then destroyed. This includes booking photos, fingerprints and police reports. A person can then say he was never arrested, including on job applications and when seeking a professional license.