Will Dismissed Charges Show Up on my Record?
Being arrested is one of the most stressful situations a person can experience. Not only is it an embarrassing process, but can also lead to an array of subsequent consequences in your work and personal life. And even if your charges are eventually dismissed due to insufficient evidence or a not guilty verdict, you may still not feel complete relief. Will these dismissed charges show up on my record and background checks? Will they affect my ability to get a job? Can I get them removed?
If you were arrested or charged of a crime, but didn’t end up getting convicted, you may be asking yourself these questions. As one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Philadelphia, we have your answers. Here’s what you need to know about the impact of a dismissed case on your criminal record.
The Making of a Criminal Record
When you’re arrested, the first record created and shared between police departments is the fact of your arrest. This information is most commonly known as a RAP sheet, or Record for Arrests and Prosecutions, and can show up on some background checks.
A criminal record is then created as soon as you are taken to court, noting information such as your arraignment, the charges and any other court appearances that follow. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to prevent a criminal record and any formal charges before your arraignment by working a deal with the prosecutor. As your best case, it’s essential that you contact an experienced defense attorney to act quickly.
If you do end up charged in court, you’ll still have a court record even if the case is later dismissed. This report will indicate that you were charged and taken to court, but were not convicted.
The Effects of a Dismissed Charge
The good news is that most employers will specifically phrase criminal history questions as “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” This is because a conviction is proof of quilt under Pennsylvania law. Even if you have been arrested or charge, a dismissal supports the fact that there was not enough evidence to prove you guilty of the crime, and many employers do recognize the difference.
To put it simply, the question of whether or not a dismissed charge will show up on a background check isn’t quite clear cut. Chances are both not guilty verdicts and dismissals will show up on your criminal record, but there is a difference between cases that become charges and appear in a criminal trial verses arrests that never lead to any formal charges. And of course, the effect this information will have on future job opportunities depends on the individual employer, so it’s best to be prepared on how to handle the conversation if it arises.
If your court case has already been dismissed and you want to see if you’re eligible for an expungement, or the removal of any past criminal charges from your record, our experienced defense attorneys can help get you the answers you need in just one phone call. Contact our law offices to discuss your specific case and take action today.