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What Is An Arrest Record And What Does It Mean For Your Record?

What Is An Arrest Record And What Does It Mean For Your Record?
April 13, 2022

What Is An Arrest Record And What Does It Mean For Your Record?

An arrest record is a document created by law enforcement and the judicial system when someone is placed under arrest and taken into custody. It is proof that someone is suspected of an offense, not proof that a person has actually committed an offense.


Unfortunately, arrest records stick to your record and will show up anytime a background check is run on you. Since criminal records are one of the main things people keep an eye out for when conducting background checks, an arrest record can impact your life in many negative ways.


Nevertheless, an arrest record can be modified or even erased depending on a few circumstances.

Will An Arrest Record Turn Up Even If I Wasn't Convicted?

Regardless of how the case turned out, anyone that performs a cursory background check on you (if you were arrested in the past) will find out details of the arrest in your records. It doesn't matter whether the charges resulted in plea bargains or convictions, or whether they were dismissed or dropped; it doesn't even matter whether you were even charged or not, an arrest record will show up on your records.


Criminal records usually state the disposition for every court case that appears on them. If the arrest resulted in a conviction, the disposition on the record will be ''Guilty''. On the other hand, if the charges were dismissed, the record will read "Dismissed" or "Nolle Processed".

Record Details Provided By Background Checks

With a little digging, an interested party can find out a great deal about a person's criminal history. Background checks can turn up a whole lot of details of criminal cases, including such things as the charges, the presiding judge, the date of the offense committed, the defense attorney, the date the case was decided by the court, the bond amount, and all other detailed docket information.

Negative Impacts of Criminal Records On Your Life

A criminal record will limit your opportunities in so many ways, in addition to impacting the quality of your life in the following ways:

  1. It May Harm Your Career

Companies view members of their staff as ambassadors of their brand and as such, will try to distance themselves from any controversy that may rub off negatively on their brand. If you suddenly get arrested, your employers may decide to cut ties with you, and future employers may be more reluctant to hire you.


An arrest record may badly disrupt your career trajectory and force you to have to settle for reduced expected career earnings.

2. It May Lead To A Loss Of Reputation

Typically, merely having an arrest record exposes you to the social stigma that's pretty difficult to escape from. Previously upstanding members of a community would find it incredibly hard to reclaim their status after an arrest, regardless of how the case turns out.


An arrest is also a ready and effective tool for the other side in a custody battle, new romantic interests would naturally be wary of your record, and all it takes for several organizations to retract memberships is an arrest.

3. It May Lead To Problems In School

Students in colleges or other higher education institutions may have their scholarships withdrawn, or worse, they may find themselves expelled as soon as a criminal record turns up. And for those who have not been admitted yet, a criminal record is an almost foolproof reason for rejection.

4. It May Limit Your Lending and Housing Options

Criminal records typically do not show up on credit reports, but lenders who run a background check on you are likely to learn about it, and it may make them less inclined to review your loan application favorably. Landlords in certain states also legally refuse to rent their houses to anyone with a criminal record.

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