Question from Adam, Do I Need to Disclose an Arrest if Found “Factually Innocent” When Applying for a State License, Running for Public Office, or Applying for Law Enforcement?
Answer from AI:
When you’re found “factually innocent” by a court, it generally means that there’s no reasonable cause to believe that you committed the offense for which you were arrested. However, whether you need to disclose this arrest when applying for a state license, running for public office, or applying for law enforcement can depend on several factors, including the specific laws and regulations of your state, the nature of the application, and the specific question asked.
State Licensing: When applying for a state license, you may be asked about your criminal history. The specific requirements can vary by state and by the type of license. Some states may only require disclosure of convictions, not arrests, while others may require disclosure of all arrests, regardless of the outcome.
Running for Public Office: The requirements for running for public office can also vary by state and by the specific office. Some states may require disclosure of criminal history, including arrests, while others may not.
Law Enforcement Applications: When applying for a position in law enforcement, you will likely be asked about your criminal history, including any arrests. This is part of the background check process, which is designed to ensure the integrity of law enforcement personnel.
Expungement and Sealing of Records
In some cases, you may be able to have your arrest record expunged or sealed. Expungement generally means that the record is destroyed, while sealing means that it is hidden from most public view. If your record is expunged or sealed, you may not need to disclose the arrest on applications. However, some applications, particularly for law enforcement positions, may require disclosure even of expunged or sealed records.
Given the complexity of these issues and the variation in laws and regulations by state, it’s recommended that you consult with a legal professional for personalized advice. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and obligations and can guide you through the process of applying for a state license, running for public office, or applying for law enforcement.
For more information, you may want to consult the following resources:
- The National Conference of State Legislatures provides information on state laws regarding employee arrest and conviction records.
- The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School provides information on expungement.
Remember, this information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to provide legal advice. Always consult with a legal professional for advice on your specific situation.