Does a Criminal Charge Stay on Your Record if It Is Dismissed?

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get convicted. People get charged with crimes all the time before going to court and getting the charges reduced or dismissed. Thankfully, if your charge is dismissed, you won’t have a misdemeanor or felony on your criminal record, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your record is clean. 

If you’ve been charged with an offense but the charge was later dismissed, it’s important to know that your arrest record can still be accessed. Although you may not be penalized for a dismissed charge, you should still be aware of who can and can’t see this information. If you want to ensure your record is kept private, a Terre Haute criminal defense lawyer from Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm could help.

Employer Background Checks

When you fill out an employment application, you may notice that the application asks if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime versus charged with a crime. This is because most companies won’t penalize you for a charge that didn’t result in a conviction. 

When an employer conducts a background check, there’s a possibility that both your criminal and arrest record will show up. An arrest record may show any charges you’ve received, and your criminal record should only show convictions. Only in-depth background checks will be able to access both charges and convictions, but knowing that the charge is a part of your criminal history is important.

Expunged or Sealed Records

The only way to ensure your criminal charges are kept private is to go through the process of getting your records sealed or expunged. With the help of a criminal defense attorney in Terre Haute, you can request an expungement or record seal but only in certain circumstances. You may need to make a deal with the judge or wait a certain amount of time after your charges have been dropped. 

Reach Out to a Terre Haute Criminal Defense Lawyer

Your attorney will help you determine whether you’re eligible for an expungement or record sealing. One of these can give you peace of mind as you move forward with your future and try to put any past charges behind you. 

If you’d like to discuss your situation with a Terre Haute criminal defense lawyer from Rowdy G. Williams Law Firm, fill out the contact form below or call 1-812-232-7400 to schedule a free consultation.