Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What do you have to reveal about an arrest when the State drops the charges? ~ AVVO.com "Best Answer" ~ Call Michael A. Haber, Esq. @ **ARRESTED

Q:     SAO changed the arrest and booking report from a felony to a misdemeanor do I have to check yes if asked about felony arrest?  I was arrested on felony agg assault in Florida but the SAO filed misdemeanor Battery and stated that "Any original charges that are not listed as filed charges have either been dropped or changed from the arrest and booking report" do I have to answer yes if asked "have you ever been arrested for a felony" ?  My FDLE report shows both the original charge at the time of arrest and supplemental arrest data that reduced the charge to a misdemeanor battery. My concern is, what will a level 2 background check show if I apply for a job and asked about felony arrest. Additionally, I pled no contest to the battery charge and the court withheld adjudication. Am I legally able to state that I have NOT been convicted?

A:     Chosen as "Best Answer" by Asker!

Michael Adam Haber


Contributor Level 20


Lawyer agrees
Best Answer
chosen by asker
Answered .  

Police make arrests and Prosecutors decide what, if any, charges to file afterward.  The standards are different, as are the consequences.  For an arrest cops need "probable cause"; whereas for a prosecution the State Attorney has to have an abiding belief that a conviction can be secured with competent, admissible evidence that proves, "beyond a reasonable doubt" that a crime was committed by the subject charged.  Many arrests do not get filed and many that do do not wind up in a conviction (not for the crime charged anyhow).  In many of these circumstances Florida Law permits  folks to seal or expunge their records, but, for reasons detailed below, such action is not absolute.  

No lawyer can tell you what a background check will or will not reveal, or how fat someone will go in conducting the examination.  In that regard I suggest that you run your own background check and see what it reveals for yourself. Regardless, and depending upon the language in the question, the person / entity asking and the practical reality of the situation, some questions will have to be answered YES.  That said, below is everything that you need to know about the sealing / expunction process.

Sealing is available in a case where you received a withhold of adjudication, and expunction is available in a case which was dismissed, nolle pros'd, no actioned or where you were found to have been not guilty. In Florida you can only seal or expunge one eligible (non-disqualified) offense in your lifetime. 

If you look at the following website you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the sealing / expunction process: 


The procedure is both quite detailed and somewhat painstaking but is also far from being rocket science. You can attempt to navigate it yourself (FDLE has tried to simplify it - again I refer you to the website above) but, assuming your eligibility, any criminal defense lawyer (anywhere in Florida - this can be done remotely and does not necessarily require a local attorney, although a local attorney may or may not be less expensive) will be able to accomplish the task with greater ease and likely in a shorter time period. 

That said I suspect that it doesn't much matter where you were arrested, what you were arrested for, what the final disposition was or whether or not you sealed / expunged the record. This is 2015 and we are forehead deep into the internet age, where nothing is private, sacred or truly hidden from public scrutiny. 

Sadly, sealing (and expunging) only applies to certain (not even to all) government agencies and has no effect whatsoever on private (er, extortionist) enterprise, who compile and maintain arrest information and then demand that you pay them off to remove your information from their database and public access. Worse still, after you "buy back your information", then you can count on there being another private company lurking, somewhere, sometime, somehow, just waiting for you to pay them off as well. Its a seemingly never-ending vicious cycle. 

For better or for worse you are probably best advised to take the wind out of the sails by admitting your past issues / indiscretions to your present (or potential) employer, lender, landlord, etcetera, rather than waiting for them to find out on their own. 

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.) 

When it comes to the subject of "Cops, Courts and Constitutions" you should always have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who is focused on serving your interests.  While we can't stop the cops from arresting you, as your legal counsel Michael A. Haber, PA will ensure that your rights are respected from the moment that representation begins and that any abuses which may have occurred beforehand are remedied.

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!


#Webisode #YouTube #VideoFAQ #AVVO #HaberPA #Arrest #Arrested #CriminalLawyer #CriminalLaw #CriminalDefense #CriminalDefenseLawyer #MiamiCriminalDefenseLawyer #CriminalDefenseAttorney #MiamiCriminalDefenseAttorney #CriminalAttorney #DUI #DWI #DrivingUnderTheInfluence #BUI #BoatingUnderTheInfluence #DomesticViolence #DV #DVRO #DomesticViolenceRestrainingOrder #Seal #Expunge #Sealing #Expungement #CriminalRecord #CriminalHistory #PSA #PublicServiceAnnouncement #BackgroundCheck 

No comments:

Post a Comment