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Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

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  • Writer's pictureParviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

How to Challenge Your California DOJ Background Check

Updated: Jul 8


By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq. 

Sometimes CalDOJ background reports can be changed to your benefit


If you have a California criminal record, you may benefit from challenging your California Department of Justice (“CalDOJ”) background check (“the report”). 


This may be because you’re applying for second citizenship or residency in a foreign country, for professional licensing requirements (real estate, nursing, law, etc.), or otherwise. In this article, we explain how you can challenge and possibly update your CalDOJ background check. 



A CalDOJ report can have mistakes for many reasons. These reasons can include a change in a criminal case disposition (such as an expungement, vacatur, record sealing), or possibly just because the initial criminal record information was reported incorrectly to the CalDOJ. 


To what extent a correction of a CalDOJ background check can affect your FBI background check is a more complicated issue and is outside the scope of this article. You can book a consultation with Malakouti Law here


Request Your CalDOJ Report; Select "record review" 


In order to challenge your CalDOJ report, you must first request a copy of your CalDOJ report for yourself. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to request a copy. 


The form that you use to challenge your report will come attached to the back of the report. This challenge form is the BCIA 8706. You’ll need this form for the next step in order to make your challenge. 



Sample BCIA 8706


As of the publication of this article, CalDOJ reports are taking about two to three weeks to arrive to the requestor. The report arrives by mail. 


Fill out BCIA 8706 “Claim of alleged inaccuracy or incompleteness”


Once you’ve received your CalDOJ report with the challenge form (BCIA 8706) attached to the back, you have to fill out the BCIA 8706 carefully, signing and dating it at the bottom. 


Since the space for explanation on the BCIA 8706 is very limited, at Malakouti Law, we also write a short cover letter explaining the basis for our record challenge. In that cover letter, we also make a short inventory of all the documents we are including with our challenge. 


For example, such documents might include: 


  • An FBI background check showing the erroneous CalDOJ information

  • The CalDOJ report showing the erroneous CalDOJ information

  • A court order of dismissal, of sealing of records 


Each case and record challenge is particular, and these are just examples of supporting documents in some cases. 



Submit the BCIA 8706 to California DOJ


The next step is to submit the BCIA 8706 (along with supporting documents, if you have them) to the CalDOJ Record Review section. 



Emailing Your record challenge to the CalDOJ is the fastest way


Fortunately, the CalDOJ will accept a challenge request via EMAIL at recordreview@doj.ca.gov. We recommend requesting receipt of the challenge in the body of the email, by simply writing “Please confirm receipt of this record challenge.” 


Request California DOJ Send Update to FBI CJIS


The CalDOJ will mail you a letter acknowledging your record challenge request and stating that they are processing the request. From that point, the CalDOJ will likely take several weeks to adjudicate your request. 


If the CalDOJ makes the change you’ve requested, you may also be entitled to have the CalDOJ communicate the same change to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Service (“CJIS”) which generates your FBI Identity History Summary (“FBI background check”). 


Note: whether the CalDOJ will instruct the FBI CJIS regarding the change depends on how California law treats the information that was updated (whether it be a criminal conviction, charge, or arrest). 


Some criminal record changes at the CalDOJ can result in a removal of the item from your FBI background check whereas many changes will not result in a removal of the item from your FBI background check. In any case, you can request that the CalDOJ communicate the record update to the FBI CJIS by stating so in the BCIA 8706 and/or in the accompanying cover letter that you send with your request (if applicable). 


Request CalDOJ Report (again) & FBI Report

to Verify Changes


If your CalDOJ states that your record challenge has resulted in the CalDOJ updating your background check, you’ll want to confirm this by seeing your updated CalDOJ report. In such cases, typically the CalDOJ will send you an updated version of your CalDOJ report. 


If they don’t, make sure to request one by emailing recordreview@doj.ca.gov. In a worst case scenario, you can manually request another CalDOJ report as demonstrated in our above mentioned article


If you also requested an update to your FBI Identity History Summary (“FBI background check”), you’ll also want to confirm that change as well. You can do that by ordering your FBI background check using these instructions if you’re inside the United States, and these instructions if you’re abroad



Consult with Malakouti Law


To discuss your own case with a professional, you can request a consultation with Malakouti Law here. 


Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.

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