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Why is it if you get arrested but found not guilty of the crime does it remain on your records

Orlando, FL |

a friend was arrested for burglary, selling stolen merchandise, 3 counts of fraudulent use of id, 3 counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He plead no contest to the credit card issue which was all he was actually charged with. He did 2 years probation and made his restitution. The judge at the end withheld adjudication so he didnt loose any civil rights. Upon checking public records he expected to find the credit card charge but everything was still on there Any doing a check will see all these charges that he was never found guilty of. Why?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    Ms. Palmieri's answer is spot-on. Let's review what we know from the information you have provided: (1) your friend was arrested and charged with a number of felonies; (2) Your friend entered a plea to some of the charges; (3) the court withheld adjudication and sentenced him to those charges; (4) his records reflect the charges he was arrested for.

    Keep in mind that the dismissal of the charges that your friend did not plea to is not a deletion of those charges. A dismissal is just a formal way to close out those charges. They will always appear on a criminal background unless and until they are sealed or expunged. Because your friend entered a plea to some charges, he can seal the record. It might even be possible to have the court enter into a hybrid order, where the charges that were dismissed are deleted and those that he pled to are sealed, but that can cause other practical concerns that I would be happy to discuss with your friend if I was to be retained to assist him. Practically speaking, I think it's best to seal the entire file.

    Posting an answer to your question does not create an attorney / client relationship such that you can or should rely on the information provided herein to take action. Instead, it is intended to simply provide you with information. I am not your lawyer and cannot provide you with legal advice unless and until I am hired to do so.

  2. Once you are arrested the charges are a matter of public record. Your friend may be eligible to seal this incident--all charges.

  3. It's still showing there because it is a public record. Like Mr. Fetter stated, your friend may be eligible to have the case sealed and possibly expunged, or completely removed from the system (with a few exceptions).

    Your friend may also want to have his mugshot removed from online. Contact my firm, I may be able to help.

    For more information or to contact this attorney, visit or call 407-412-7234. This information is for general purpose only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney- client relationship.

  4. Entering a plea of no contest is not the same as being found "not guilty." (In fact it's the opposite.) the record of the arrest and disposition is a matter of public record. He'll want to look into getting it expunged. Typically, he'll be eligible if he was not adjudicated guilty.

    Free Consultations can be made by calling 407-617-1064. Please understand that the information given is not to be construed as legal advice. More information would be needed in order to make more accurate legal determinations on your matter. Furthermore, an attorney-client relationship does not begin until a retainer agreement has been signed by the attorney and client.

  5. He is eligible to seal this record if he otherwise meets the criteria. Since all of the charges arose from the same incident and were charged together, they remain part of the public record. The other charges should show that they were no-filed or otherwise dismissed by the prosecutor. Since he did probation on the credit card portion of it, he can't expunge the record, just seal it. Until he does that, all of it will remain part of the public record in the clerk, arresting agency, FDLE and maybe FBI. He should consult with an attorney and get it sealed.

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