If charges are dropped how would I know? If the case is dropped or dissmissed what does that mean for my arrest record? (first offense) Does it disappear along with everything else? Or do prints stay in the system?
Charges can only be dropped by the district attorney (the complainant is simply a witness). Having said that, if the charges are indeed dismissed you arrest record, prints, photos and everything relating to the incident would be purged from the law enforcement database. To be clear, tHats what is supposed to happen. I have experienced situations where the NYPD violate this state law with impunity and the federal government is notorious for disregarding state laws that they don't like (this being one of them).
Charges can be dropped before your court date however that doesn't happen very often. Especially since at some point in time if the district attorney moves to dismiss it has to be on the record in open court. If the charges dismissed and all the records related to the arrest should be destroyed or purged. I'll also add that Mr. Lieberman's caveat above also applies to upstate New York police departments.
As a brief follow up, let me tell you it would a smal ($10 I think) investment on your part, if your case is dismissed, for you to visit the court clerk and order a Certificate Of Disposition. This is a court stamped document which is a record of the disposition and you may need it down the line.
You could use it, for example, in reference to any employment or educational problem you might run into if an employer or a school does a background check and gets your case result twisted. Always keep your court original COD and dispense copies to anyone you need to. Good luck!
Your attorney is the only person who can tell you unless it's a GJ presentation that was dismissed and then you may get a letter from the court.
Prints are closed except for FBI record.
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City.
The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
Charges can be dropped or dismiised prior to the court date. Your attorney (appointed or private) would know. If dismissed, your arrest would be sealed and prints destroyed. You may also have a civil rights claim against the city of NY depending on the circumstances of your arrest.