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 What You Should Know about Being Arrested Without Charge?

As surprising as it could be, nearly one-third of the adult population has a criminal record. This number is as high as the number of four-year college graduates in all United States. Within these records, most of them did not lead to a sentence. Many individuals who have been arrested and released are part of these 100 million criminal records, since a person can have an arrest record even if he or she has been released without charge. You want another surprising fact? If all arrested Americans were a nation, they would be the world's 18th largest one. Larger than France for example. What are the consequences of being arrested? Do you get it recorded forever? We'll give you all the answers!

How Do You Get Arrested?

In the United States, someone is arrested every 10 seconds. This is how many people step into the criminal justice system. In 2016, 80% of the arrests were conducted for low-level offenses. An arrest occurs when a person is suspected of committing or planning a crime. A police officer needs an arrest warrant in order to be able to proceed to an arrest. In order to obtain this warrant, the officer needs to submit a written affidavit to a judge or magistrate with sufficient factual information to determine the likely cause of a crime being committed or committed by the person concerned.

An arrest warrant authorizes a police officer to arrest a person. Some restrictions can be written on the arrest, such as the interdiction to make an arrest during daytime, etc. It also specifies if the person has to regain freedom or may not be released after the arrest. Once a police officer has an arrest, he has the right to take the person concerned into custody against that person's will and to proceed to an interrogation or charge him for his presumed crime.

arrested without charge
The Consequences Of An Arrest

When a person has been arrested and taken into custody, this arrest is kept and maintained by a law enforcement agency and stays recorded into a public record, even though the person concerned has been released without charge. The information that can be found on this public arrest record may vary but usually details identity information of the person arrested such as name, birth date, hair color, height, as well as criminal charges. This information becomes public, and in some cases, the public record will not say whether or not the particular charges were brought to conviction or dismissal, in other words if the person has been released without charges or if the person has been convicted.

Consequently, any person could look for your public record by visiting the jurisdiction's government website or by going to the county clerk's office in person. The jurisdictions may require to pay administration fees or printing fees. 

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Expungement of Arrest Records

Even if an arrest affects public records and background checks, a person who has been arrested and released without charge can ask for an expungement of an arrest in some cases.

A public record can have heavy negative outcomes in one's life and can affect a person in many ways, for employment, housing, banking, education and so on... Having a criminal record is a red flag in many situations and many people who have been arrested and had charges dropped say that having an arrest record ruins their chance to secure employment. In most states, this record can be erased if it meets some requirements.

Requirements may include one or more of the following:

  • Sufficient time since the indictment or the conclusion of the case (usually a period of 5 years)
  • No additional criminal history since the end of the case
  • Minimal or no prior criminal history
  • Completion of all terms of deferred disposition, probation, parole or the sentence

Different states may apply different requirements. The procedure is to file a petition, most of the time in the same court or jurisdiction took place. The judge will then review the file and determine whether he or she meets the requirements.

arrest record expungement
Certificate of Actual Innocence

If a person has been arrested and released or if a person has been taken into a trial and has been found innocent, he or she may ask of a Certificate of Actual Innocence" that proves that this record should never have existed and that all charges are dropped. It lawfully seals a person's criminal record. It is the highest form of criminal record expungement. So if you were arrested and released without charge, you would have these two options depending on your specific case: to ask for expungement of arrest records or to claim for your Certificate of Innocence acknowledging that you were entirely innocent.

Do you know that with Golookup you can get criminal data records for anyone living in the United States, including non-expunged criminal offenses, misdemeanors, traffic violations, drunk driving records, convictions, court subpoena, witnesses’ testimonials and more?

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Search for anyone in the United States! 100% Confidential! Updated on August 16, 2022
Sensitive Information!