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  • Sealing my arrest record. Would this matter?

    Back in 2009, I was arrested for 'probable cause; possession of cocaine'

    I was never charged and never saw a judge, just released from the jail on a hold.

    I am eligible to have my arrest record sealed BUT since law enforcement can view my arrest record, should I even bother?

    In for advice and/or similar situations

  • #2
    As part of the background investigation you will fill out a personal history statement that will ask you to list all police contacts of any nature. In addition, you will most likely take a poly in which you will be asked if you were truthful or withheld anything.

    The police have a variety of ways of finding this information out independent of you supplying it. If it is determined that you lied, you will be toast not only for this job, but for any law enforcement job in the future.

    With this in mind, having it sealed is pointless as far as a police job is concerned.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      Forget the lawyer talk of "never charged" and "not seeing a judge." Those things don't really mean all that much.

      Were you in possession of cocaine?

      I can only speak for the vast majority of law enforcement officers, but we don't arrest someone for no reason or because we feel like it. We arrest them because there are a series of articulable facts that would lead a person of ordinary prudence to believe the allegations. So for the crime of cocaine possession, you would have to be in possession (or an immediate enough presence to cause possession) of cocaine.

      And it would be pointless at my agency. Auto-DQ.
      Last edited by Sierra259; 08-12-2014, 12:01 AM.

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      • #4
        ^^ what he said ^^

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sierra259 View Post
          Forget the lawyer talk of "never charged" and "not seeing a judge." Those things don't really mean all that much.

          Were you in possession of cocaine?

          I can only speak for the vast majority of law enforcement officers, but we don't arrest someone for no reason or because we feel like it. We arrest them because there are a serious of articulable facts that would lead a person of ordinary prudence to believe the allegations. So for the crime of cocaine possession, you would have to be in possession (or an immediate enough presence to cause possession) of cocaine.

          And it would be pointless at my agency. Auto-DQ.
          Well in Gary, Indiana they will arrest you because they cannot find anything.

          I was searched with my a friend and her boyfriend at the trunk of my car. The cocaine fell out of HIS pocket and the officer saw that. They charged me with probable cause. I'll be willing to take a poly about that any day.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Mysteriousnomad View Post
            Well in Gary, Indiana they will arrest you because they cannot find anything.

            I was searched with my a friend and her boyfriend at the trunk of my car. The cocaine fell out of HIS pocket and the officer saw that. They charged me with probable cause. I'll be willing to take a poly about that any day.
            Something doesn't smell right about this...

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            • #7
              There is no such thing as an arrest for "probable cause", try again, this time don't lie.
              Now go home and get your shine box!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mysteriousnomad View Post
                Well in Gary, Indiana they will arrest you because they cannot find anything.

                I was searched with my a friend and her boyfriend at the trunk of my car. The cocaine fell out of HIS pocket and the officer saw that. They charged me with probable cause. I'll be willing to take a poly about that any day.
                Well sorry to dissapoint, like the other have said, probable cause is not a crime but a standard to which we have to get to. Reasonable suspision gets the stop, probable cause gets the arrest. Now, if you can post the Gary, Indiana statute that makes "probable cause" a crime along with its classification, misdemeanor or felony and what degree, I'm sure we can take a better look at it. If you can not, than it leads a reasonable officer to determine you are trying to mitigate and "lawyer" your way out without any actual facts that can back it up. If you were arrested on possession of cocain, the officer would have to have PROBABALE CAUSE to make that arrest.

                Oh, and if you are planning on attempting a career in law enofrcement and get to that phase of the process, dont worry, you'll have your chance to take a poly on the situation.
                Last edited by eaker995; 08-12-2014, 08:28 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mysteriousnomad View Post
                  Back in 2009, I was arrested for 'probable cause; possession of cocaine'

                  I was never charged and never saw a judge, just released from the jail on a hold.

                  I am eligible to have my arrest record sealed BUT since law enforcement can view my arrest record, should I even bother?

                  In for advice and/or similar situations
                  This is not an automatic disqualifier because you did not plead guilty nor were you convicted. But it is something that will lead to a significant amount of scrutiny about your past, and definitely about your poor judgment with your personal associations.

                  As someone with an arrest record, I can attest that you will need to disclose and answer questions about this incident for the rest of your life, which is lame, but it is unavoidable. I would expunge your record just to put it behind you (I did the same).

                  I personally know LEOs who admitted to narcotics use during their applications, even as recently as 3 years or so ago, but they have cleaned up their lives, and their agencies hired them. And knowing these guys, I am sure they will go on being great cops. The key is to be honest, to admit what you have done wrong, and to learn from it. Even then, there are no guarantees that an agency will accept that and let you work for them (as other posters have noted).

                  I know you are not extremely knowledgeable about the law, but you do need to figure out what exactly happened with your arrest. Your story is getting the scrutiny it is because you don’t seem to know what happened, what you were arrested for, or the disposition. You should obtain the arrest record and your release forms to figure out what exactly transpired. You will need those records anyway to complete the expunging/sealing of your record.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mysteriousnomad View Post
                    Back in 2009, I was arrested for 'probable cause; possession of cocaine'

                    I was never charged and never saw a judge, just released from the jail on a hold.

                    I am eligible to have my arrest record sealed BUT since law enforcement can view my arrest record, should I even bother?

                    In for advice and/or similar situations
                    If you were never fingerprinted/charged then the only record that should be visible on the situation is an internal one kept by the Gary PD (assuming they even have one). If they do have an internal one AND/OR if it does show up on a database (NCIC, LEADS, etc) then you should be able to get it expunged depending on Indiana state law regarding expungement. Getting it sealed will still make it visible to LE, getting it expunged it will most likely not be viewable by anyone other than MAYBE the FBI, but even they wouldn't see details to the arrest but just the charge (assuming you were even formally charged).

                    So it would be beneficial to have it expunged and to be honest you probably don't have to disclose it but if you get caught then you're definitely not going to get the job and honesty is always better than being caught in a lie. Needless to say, you will need to articulate that you don't hang out with people like that and that you weren't aware he was in possession of cocaine. Did they have PC to arrest you? Kind of. Was it bs? Absolutely (assuming there aren't any other details you're hiding). Is there a chance you're going to have to disclose it for the rest of your life? Yes, but like I said if you weren't fingerprinted you should be fine but would need to expunge any internal record the Gary police may have and the likelihood of the FBI having a copy of that is slim to none. Anything else send me a PM and don't get your hopes up because some people on here judge you assuming you were at fault, it's just how leo's think and 99.9% of the time it's an accurate way of thinking. However, is aggressive/proactive PD's like Gary there is often a practice of locking everyone up that you can establish PC to, regardless of how pimpy it may be (and not bashing that practice at all).
                    Those who have struggled with failure more appreciate success; than those who succeed but never themselves test.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                      There is no such thing as an arrest for "probable cause", try again, this time don't lie.
                      I am betting he is talking about an arrest like the ones that show up on California rap sheets as 836.3 PC followed by the charge.
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you were rolled for prints then youve got a rap sheet. Its maintained by the FBI and no matter if your get it sealed/expunged it will still be there. The local PD may have retention of records for 3-4 yrs and then trash it. So grab the arrest docs as quick as you can.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                          I am betting he is talking about an arrest like the ones that show up on California rap sheets as 836.3 PC followed by the charge.
                          THIS IS EXACTLY what I am talking about.

                          I have my arrest record and my limited criminal history. It states PC possession of cocaine. NC (no charges filed).

                          The officer caught my ex girlfriends new boyfriend with the cocaine by the trunk of my car EVEN THOUGH when the officer got on scene the ex was nowhere near my vehicle.

                          Regardless, I have this arrest on my record which I can get rid of so I will try that.

                          Thank you all for the positive comments.

                          I'm surprised that some states don't arrest you on probable cause...it's a PC hold maximum 48 hours whether or not the find evidence TO charge

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Isn't 836.3 PC about misdemeanor escapees? Do you mean 849(b) PC-Release Without Charges by Peace Officer?

                            And I think "PC" on your rap sheet might not mean "probable cause." What state did this happen in?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sierra259 View Post
                              Isn't 836.3 PC about misdemeanor escapees? Do you mean 849(b) PC-Release Without Charges by Peace Officer?

                              And I think "PC" on your rap sheet might not mean "probable cause." What state did this happen in?
                              Good point. The OP stated it was Gary Indiana. Perhaps and abbreviation for Possession of a Controlled substance/ Possession of Contraband followed by the type suspected of possessing?
                              Last edited by eaker995; 08-14-2014, 07:40 AM.

                              Comment

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