Alarming Information Regarding Arrest Records

criminal record borderA criminal record is perhaps impediment or barrier in the areas of job prospects, employment advancement, educational opportunities, and the ability to secure credit and government assistance. Beyond these tangible implications are the social stigma and embarrassment of being labeled a “criminal.”

It is important to know that a record is created upon arrest, not just conviction. In fact, every time a person is processed (think fingerprints or mugshot) a record is created of that “arrest.” These records are kept indefinitely by various criminal justice agencies, and will appear on most criminal background searches. That means that a criminal background check will turn up not just convictions, but every time a person was charged with a crime and every crime that was charged against them, regardless of whether they were negotiated down, withdrawn or dismissed.

The FBI alone has nearly 78 million individuals on file in its criminal database. That’s almost a third of all American adults. One recent study found that almost half of those arrested were not convicted, and nearly a quarter were never formally charged at all. Regardless of the outcome of the cases, each of those arrests appeared on a criminal history report.

Considering these alarming statistics and the numerous obstacles created by a criminal history, when possible, it’s important to clean up any arrest record. Expungement is the process by which arrest and other information is removed from a person’s criminal history. It can erase records of arrests and charges that did not result in conviction. This is especially true when serious charges were plea bargained down to less serious misdemeanor charges. In certain cases, even adjudications of guilt and minor convictions can be wiped clean. It is important to have your expungement options explored by an knowledgeable attorney, since various criminal justice agencies maintain various records independent of one another, and cleaning up your record in one place does not guarantee that the same arrest will not appear in another records check down the road. Contact us to speak to an experienced attorney about clearing your record.

Posted on September 29, 2014, in Criminal Law, Family Law, Minor and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Alarming Information Regarding Arrest Records.

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