You Can Remove Police Arrest Records from Public Domain

You might be wondering what a police record is and how it affects you. Firstly, it is important to know that everyone has a police or criminal record. This record shows whether or not you have ever been arrested for a crime. Often employers or potential lenders require your record before you are able to access their services. This part of their screening process allows them to more easily spot ineligible candidates.


Have you ever been arrested? If you have, unfortunately your record is most likely in the public domain. This means that it is available to the public and may be accessed via the Internet. This is due to American laws which stipulate that police arrest records are public property and, as such, can be assessed once an individual is arrested and fingerprinted.

If you have been arrested or convicted, you may already have great concerns as it pertains to your  eligibility for loans or housing. After all, many who view police records or mugshots websites  are quick to make negative judgments even before a person is convicted of a crime.

No one wants to be forced to suffer the consequences of past mistakes, especially if they were not convicted of the crime. Therefore, you might be wondering what can be done to alleviate the negative impact that your record may have on your life. Before you become dismayed, check if your record is online.


Where to find arrest records

Many websites today post detailed personal information about arrestee as well as an arrestee’s booking photo/ mugshot. You can find these websites by typing your name and the word “mugshot” in a search engine. These websites also often include the reason for arrest. They provide details such as:

  • Arrestee’s name/ alias
  • Date of Birth/ age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Eye Color
  • Hair Color

When you search for your mugshot you may also be referred to the websites of police departments. In many instances, police departments have their own websites which are dedicated to posting daily arrest details. Arrests details have been so widely viewed online that some police departments have “mugshot of the day” competitions. After all, the presence of arrestee’s booking information has become very acceptable online.

Moreover, numerous non-government websites are cashing in on criminal public records by making mugshots and other booking details available online. They make their money by charging arrestees exorbitant fees to remove mugshots or any criminal record details from online.


How can I remove my record from public domain

If you have found your mugshot online do not become extremely anxious. Your police arrest record does not necessarily have to remain in the public domain. There are options for arrestees to seal or expunge their record.

  • Sealing a record. In most cases, when a record is sealed it cannot be accessed by the public. This means that even if you are required to do a background check by a potential employee your arrest details will not be accessible. However, note that your record will not been destroyed or removed. It still exists and can be accessed by government agencies depending on who requires it and for what purpose it is required.
  • Expunging a record. Generally, when a record is expunged, it is removed. This means that it cannot be accessed by the public or government agencies, even by court order. It is as though you were never arrested. In some states, like Florida and Texas, you can legally deny that you committed an offense or were arrested by the police. In the eyes of the law, you have never committed or been suspected of a crime.

Factors that may affect the removal of public arrest Records

The process of removing your record whether by sealing or expungement depends on many varying factors. Arrestees who understand these factors are more likely to be successful in their attempt to limit the accessibility of their records.

  • Your age when arrested. If you were arrested or sentenced as a juvenile or minor, depending on the state in which you were arrested, your record may be sealed automatically. In states like   New York, the police and other relevant agencies protect the information on your record and will only share it with your school and other institutions if deemed necessary.
  • Some states do not offer both sealing and expungement options. Some, like New York, allow a criminal record to be sealed only in certain instances.
  • Your eligibility for removal of a criminal record will be based on your current relationship with the law. Thus, your expungement request may be denied if you are currently involved in a court case or have had several prior convictions. Additionally, our eligibility for expungement or sealing may be determined based on whether or not you have completed a court’s sentence.
  • Often states stipulate that certain offenses cannot be expunged. For instance, in New Jersey, traffic violations cannot be expunged. If you have been convicted of an offense, you will need to check with state authorities to determine if your police record can be expunged.
  •  Many states require that an arrestee wait for a specific period before they can apply to have police arrest records expunged. This waiting period may range from a few moths to years. If you were convicted for a serious offense you may have to wait for a longer period than arrestees who committed a less serious offense. For instance, in New Hampshire, those who committed sexual assault have to wait a minimum of 10 years.

About Angela

Hello, Cyber world! I currently work as the Web Content Editor for the Expunge Center page and through my whole life writing and blogging has been in my Top priorities.

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