Question from adam, Is it Slander to Publicize a Sealed Arrest Record of a Factually Innocent Individual?
Answer from AI:
In general, slander refers to a false spoken statement that damages a person’s reputation. However, the situation you’re describing involves a few more complexities, including the concepts of factual innocence, sealed records, and the potential harm to your reputation.
Understanding Factual Innocence and Sealed Records
Being found “factually innocent” means that, after reviewing all the evidence, the court determined that no reasonable cause exists to believe that you committed the alleged offense. This is a stronger finding than simply being acquitted or having charges dropped.
When your records are sealed, it means they are hidden from the general public. However, they may still be accessible to certain entities, such as law enforcement or court officials, under specific circumstances.
Publicizing Sealed Records and Slander
If someone publicizes your sealed arrest record, it could potentially be considered an invasion of privacy, rather than slander, especially if you were found factually innocent. However, the specifics of the situation and the jurisdiction’s laws would play a significant role in determining this.
If you believe someone is trying to harm your reputation by publicizing your sealed arrest record, you may have legal recourse. Here are some general steps you might consider:
- Consult with a lawyer: A legal professional can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and jurisdiction.
- Document the slanderous behavior: Keep a record of the instances where the person has publicized your arrest record.
- Consider a civil lawsuit: If the person’s actions have caused you harm, you may be able to sue for damages. However, this can be a complex process and requires the assistance of a legal professional.
This information is intended to provide a general understanding of the law. However, legal issues can be complex and are often dependent on the specific facts and circumstances. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.
For more information on slander and defamation laws, you can visit the Legal Information Institute’s page on Defamation. For more on sealed records, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service provides a comprehensive guide.