If someone is arrested, regardless of what the outcome of their arrest is, a permanent and public record will be created. These records used to only be held in paper format with the law enforcement agency that performed the arrest, but they now all have their own arrest database and these databases are often linked. Because they are public records, anyone can look up the information contained in the database, which is why it is so important to make sure any information contained on you is accurate.
What Is an Arrest?
An arrest means that someone was deprived of their personal liberty for a period of time. It is also a type of police record. What an arrest record is not, however, is a document of a criminal case against someone. Hence, if someone has been arrested, they may have been found not guilty or perhaps the case didn’t go to trial at all. As such, an arrest record has nothing to do with someone’s guilt.
How Do I View an Arrest Database?
It is now easier than ever to view an arrest database, because there are organizations out there that have linked all the different databases together. This means that you no longer have to go to the police department that was responsible for the arrest in order to view records. Instead, you can simple enter someone’s name online and see what comes up. It is recommended to look yourself up to see whether there are any errors, just as you should do with your credit file.
How to Correct a Mistake
If you spot that you are erroneously listed on any of the online databases, perhaps because you have never been arrested or perhaps because the information contained within your arrest record is incorrect, then it is very important that you fix that. The best way to achieve that is to start by contacting the law enforcement authority responsible for your address and telling them your listing is wrong. If you have any evidence to support this, make sure you supply it as well. In most cases, presuming the record is indeed incorrect, this will take care of the problem. The relevant police department will remove the record and this means the online database is no longer able to find it either.
If, however, the law enforcement department does not agree with you about the erroneous nature of your records, then you may need to seek further legal advice. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to remove arrest records, which means that getting some professional help is usually recommended. If the arrest record is genuine, there is nothing you can do. These records are a matter of the public domain and the only time they can be removed from that domain is if you were a minor when you committed the offense. There are a few ways to do it as an adult, but that is incredibly rare and almost possible to hold out hope for.