As a criminal attorney, we know that there is way too much information available online. While it is perfectly acceptable for people to want to post their information on all manner of social media, it can be dangerous to do so during a criminal investigation or trial. One word of caution we have for people who post pictures or information about themselves online is to remember that once you post something, it will never go away. As such, it is important not to place any compromising information about yourself or your case that may be used to disqualify you from a job, may be used by the prosecution in your case, or can continue to haunt you for years after the incident has passed. Being on social media is a very personal choice, but if you have questions about what is appropriate, it is always a good idea to chat with us before making a compromising post.
While there is a case to be made for caution in the use of social media, there is even more of a concern when public records are easily available online. More and more court systems are starting to put public documents, including arrest records, online. This means that they are available not only to a criminal attorney but to anyone who is interested in researching you and any legal problems you have had in the past. These documents are not removed after a case is finished, even if the case was dismissed or if you prevailed in your criminal defense. Arrest records often remain, with all the gory details that were recorded by the police at the time of the arrest. Again, there is no requirement that the records used by someone accurately reflect that your criminal attorney got you acquitted or had the charges dismissed. This can hurt you in many different ways.
In the past, only your criminal attorney and other officials had access to your records and could see all the details of an arrest or charges. Today, employers, spouses, potential mates, friends, enemies, and anyone else who has a computer can look you up and get details on your record. This is important because when you consider that police records, like your arrest record, have all kinds of details that have not been proven in a court of law. It is for this reason that we believe as your criminal attorney that you need to have us explore the option of having your records expunged or sealed. When you have your record expunged, it is completely deleted and is no longer available for someone to search. If you have it sealed, the court makes sure it cannot be accessed by someone unless they have a legal reason to seek it.
There is no reason you should have to face the consequences of having a lingering record available for all to see. As your criminal attorney, we can work to have the records expunged or sealed to prevent this eventuality.