• What is a criminal record, and how do I know if I have one?
If you have ever been arrested or received a criminal citation, you likely have a criminal record.  Law enforcement, courts and government agencies retain both hard copy and electronic files on such incidents.  Because of the many different local and national agencies that maintain criminal history databases, there are a variety of record types and therefore ways in which such information can be retrieved.  

You can find out whether you have a record by requesting information on yourself from the appropriate law enforcement agency or court.  For example, in the case of larger agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, you can submit a fingerprint background check and/or Freedom of Information Act request.  Once you have determined the nature and final disposition of your criminal infraction, you can then determine whether any or all of your record may be removed from public access under the laws of that jurisdiction.

Record Absolutions will guide you through this process in our initial evaluation, in order to determine whether you are eligible for a legal remedy, such as expungement, sealing, set aside and/or pardon.
  • If my case ended in a dismissal or nolle prosequi do I have a criminal record?
Yes. In most jurisdictions, records of your arrest and related proceedings will remain in the court's public files, unless you successfully petition the court for an expungement or sealing order.
  • If I were sentenced to and successfully completed a deferral, diversion or youth rehabilitation/first offender program, do I have a criminal record?
Yes.  Although many of the documents in your case may have been set aside or sealed, depending on the jurisdiction, records of your arrest will likely remain public, unless you successfully petition the court for an expungement or sealing order.


Note: This website presents general information about Record Absolutions, and the services that the firm offers to its clients.  The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice, and you should not act upon it before consulting with professional legal counsel.  To obtain legal services from Record Absolutions, you must first establish an attorney-client relationship with the firm.  This requires personal contact with us, and our determination that we are willing to take the engagement.  Thank you for your understanding.

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