And now, for this next trick, we'll file a petition to make your case disappear!
Tags:acquittal,arrest record,clientelevision,criminal record,employment application,expunge,expungement,probation before judgment,security clearance
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Even if you beat the rap and escape without a criminal record, there is always a record out there somewhere—
And you want to get rid of it because you do not want to have to say yes if somebody says, “Where you ever arrested?” on an employment application for example. We do not want people to be stigmatized when they were not even found guilty, so you are allowed to file in most jurisdictions a petition for expungment, which means, make all that stuff go away, get rid of my arrest record, get rid of those charges as if it never happened.
You cannot get a criminal record expunged if you were found guilty—that is just not an option.
For somebody who is in the Criminal Justice System and they are not convicted—that would be a juvenile in the Juvenile System. It would be somebody in the adult system where they were arrested, but never charged. They were charged, but it was dismissed. They were charged and went to trial and they were found not guilty or they got a probation before judgment. In all of those cases, there is no criminal conviction and as long as you are not convicted, then you are not a criminal and if you are not a criminal, you have the right in most jurisdictions to make all of that stuff go away.
If you fall into that category, you can get the report expunged and for most purposes, but not all, we will just pretend that that little episode never occurred.
And then when they ask you the question on the employment application, “Have you ever been arrested,” you and I know the answer is yes, but you can lawfully say no. It is somewhat of a fiction, but we pretend that it never happened if you have lawfully gotten it expunged.