Criminal Record Erased? Is this possible?

Criminal Record Erased? Is this possible?

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I am going out with a prominent man in our relatively small community. According to a friend of mine, he was charged with spousal abuse some years ago after he broke his wife’s hand in a fight. I have searched all public records and even paid on sites like FBI for any public info on court records, criminal records etc about this charge and come up with nothing about this incident. In fact he has a clean record. If there was in fact an incident and he was charged, is this record permanent or can it be erased somehow by "some powers that be" if he had the right connections? surely a criminal charge can not be erased?


  1. The records can be sealed by court order. that means that the public cannot see them and many "law enforcement" officers are limited to veiw.

  2. yep. It’s called expungement.
    We call it "sneaky bastard info".
    all it takes is money and a good lawyer.

  3. It absolutely can. It is called an "expungement." Depending on the state in which you live, and when it was obtained, it could have been relatively easy. Fortunately, it is no longer easy, although it happens with frequency. If your boyfriend successfully obtained a full expungement, then you would not be able to access any information about the underlying incident because anyone who holds such records is under court order not to disclose them to you or anyone else.

    In most states, however, an expungement is not granted unless at least two things happen: 1) the prosecutor agrees to the expungement; and 2) the case was decided in the favor of the person seeking expungement.

    As a prosecutor, I have never agreed to an expungement unless I had serious doubt about the defendant’s guilt and believe that the police charged him/her improperly.

    So if his record was expunged, you can take some comfort in the fact that the prosecutor felt the same way (or lost the case).

    Best of luck.

  4. In California, if you complete probation successfully, you can have your record expunged, meaning that you get to withdraw your plea and the case is dismissed. It’s off your record like it never happened. Of course, it’ll still be on your rap sheet, but the conviction will go away. Some crimes cannot be expunged. And if you go to prison, the crime cannot be expunged at all. Getting this done requires an attorney and can cost money. However, this happens all the time.

    Additionally, sometimes there isn’t a conviction at all. You don’t plea guilty and you just do some kind of diversion program and it doesn’t wind up on your record.

    I notice you say that your friend said he was "charged" with spousal abuse. Charged doesn’t mean convicted. If he wasn’t convicted, you might find an arrest, but that doens’t tell you anything. Moreover, how would your friend know what took place in the criminal justice system? Did she sit in court during every hearing? Did she know what was going on legally? Heck, most of my clients don’t know what is going on with their cases (I’m a criminal defense attorney) even after I explain it to them over and over again.

    Lastly, you can be pardoned by the governor (or the President in some cases). This erases your conviction. Gone. Done. Nada. Usually, this is done in the last few days of the governor’s term and is given to people with political connections, but not always. But a governor can’t do it at any other time due to political pressures. A governor must be tough on crime. I would say that this is unlikely.

    The fact is that these things don’t go the way you would think from watching TV. There are lots of things that can happen. In Domestic Violence cases, victims often change their stories. Of maybe the DA just doesn’t believe the victim. Or maybe the perpetrator is found not-guilty. Who knows?

    I have had a few domestic violence cases as a criminal defense attorney. Not many. Just a few. And I’ve never seen one where just the hand was broken. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Usually, it’s either just a fight with few if any injuries or there are many bruises. Breaking someone’s hand is rather serious, but I would think that, if it really occurred, that there would be other injuries. Other significant injuries. Kind of makes you wonder if this wasn’t just a rumor.

  5. ok, Bob is a racist.
    Maybe you could just ask the guy, I mean just out of respect. Give him a chance to be forthcoming about it. I think it’s smart to look into who you’re dating but you’re really investigating this guy. I mean, if you have to work this hard maybe you should ask if he’s a guy you should be dating at all. Good luck

  6. You’re right. It cannot be erased. Every criminal charge that is brought against someone is automatically entered into NCIC which is a nation-wide criminal database that is maintained by the FBI. any police officer can run a check on a person through NCIC. They only need the persons first name, last name, race, sex, and age (preferably their full birthdate, but age will usually suffice). NCIC will show every ticket they have ever had, every criminal charge they have had against them, etc…It will even bring up information like, everytime they have been a suspect in a criminal matter and everytime they have pawned something at a pawn shop (this is tracked by the FBI because it is common way to unload stolen merchandise and it is also a common way to get quick money for drug users).

    Police Officers are not allowed to run checks on people for personal reasons (this is a violation of the Federal Privacy Act) and they can get in trouble for looking someone up just to find out if they would make a good boyfriend or girlfriend, but if you have a friend in law enforcement they may still be willing to look the guy up for you. Also, you might feel better to know that nothing is ever really "off your record". This is a term that is really misunderstood. A judge or attorney may tell you that something has been taken off your record, for whatever reason, but what they mean is that it cannot be used against you in the future. For example, a DUI conviction may be taken off your record because you fulfilled your community service obligations and, therefore, that charge cannot be used against you if you have to go to court to fight another DUI charge. However, anyone running a check through NCIC will see that you did have a conviction for DUI.

  7. You cannot conclude that he has a clean record "in fact" if you conducted the search for his record over the Internet only. Most online databases (even the paid ones) are unreliable.

  8. Ok, if a person is charged but never convicted there is no criminal records.

    Also a record can be espounged by going before the judge

    If there was an incident report at the police station it would still be there, but you would have to go down in person and check the records

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