California Penal Code §236.14

California Penal Code §236.14 allows survivors of human trafficking to petition to vacate convictions, and destroy records of arrests, non-prosecuted cases, adjudications, and/or other records that are not convictions, committed while they were a victim of human trafficking.

Relief is available for any nonviolent offense. The crimes covered are not limited to prostitution-related crimes. The petitioner must show that the arrest or conviction happened as a direct result of their status as a victim of human trafficking by clear and convincing evidence.

The survivor must apply within a “reasonable time” after trafficking and survivors must show that they have engaged in a “good faith effort to distance [themselves] from the human trafficking scheme.” A hearing is only required if the prosecution objects to the motion. Survivors of trafficking are entitled to confidentiality during the process and can be excused from appearing in person at the hearing under certain circumstances.


Updated Sept 2021

This webpage was produced by Freedom Network USA under Grant Number 2017-VT-BX-K018, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.