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Understanding Arrest Records

You might be asking what is the difference between a criminal record and an arrest record. What do they include and what does it all mean? We feel it's important to clear up some of these terms for our readers. It will provide you a sense of what to expect when looking for criminal records versus arrest records or just a background check.

Criminal Records versus Arrest Records

A conviction is when someone who has been arrested for a crime has a trial and a verdict is ruled not in their favor. In this case a "Guilty" verdict. When the person under trial is convicted "Guilty," then they will have a criminal record for the said conviction. Such as guilty for a misdemeanor or felony.

On the other hand, if someone is arrested for a crime and a trial's verdict is "Not Guilty," then that person doesn't have a criminal record. Their criminal record won't show the trial and the charges that were brought against that person. In this case that person would have an arrest record. An arrest record is an official form completed by the police department or law enforcement agency when they make an arrest. The important thing to know is that a person can have multiple arrests and have it show up on their arrest record. They can have no convictions of "Guilty," and that would mean they don't have a criminal record.

Certain charges also have statuses such as a dismissed charge or pending. If a charge is labeled as acquitted that means the person is free from a criminal charge. Regardless their arrest record will still show up with a charge.

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