Arrest Records and Criminal Records

Arrest Records and Criminal Records

What is the difference between arrest records and criminal records? Will arrest records affect your career? The following article will answer these questions.

What are Arrest Records?

Being arrested is defined as being temporarily held in police custody. Being arrested doesn’t even mean you will be charged with a crime. After taken into police custody, the prosecutor will determine whether you will be charged or not.

After being arrested, a few things can happen. The prosecutor may determine that there was no crime committed and release you. The prosecutor could charge you, but those charges can be dropped or dismissed later. The prosecutor can also charge you and take your case to trial, where you may be found not guilty. The important thing to remember about an arrest record is that it does not indicate a conviction.
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What are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are different. If you have a criminal record, you have been convicted of a crime. After the arrest, the prosecutor charged you with a crime, and a few different things could have happened. You could have plea bargained, which is agreeing to plead guilty of a crime in exchange for a lesser sentence. You could have been charged with a crime and found guilty by a jury. Either way, a criminal record equals a conviction.

The implications of an arrest record – will it affect your chances of finding a good job?

Having an arrest record is usually not a big deal. It will usually show up on a background check, but on as an arrest and non-conviction. Most employers don’t care about arrest records. It’s illegal in some states to even ask about past arrest that didn’t lead to convictions.

A conviction will show up on a background check as an arrest and conviction. Usually details will be provided about the case and conviction as well. Having an arrest record is usually not a big deal, but having a conviction on your background check can damage future employment opportunities.

Recommended reading:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Will your criminal history affect your future employment prospects?

Office of Justice Program – Criminal records and employment