Q:

How long do charges stay on your criminal record?

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Quick Answer

With few exceptions, convictions for misdemeanors and felonies remain on an offender's record permanently, according to law firm Collins and Collins. In rare cases, a criminal conviction can be expunged or sealed. However, these remedies are difficult to achieve. Sealing a record is normally only available in juvenile cases.

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Full Answer

Court records are stored in court databases or in archival storage forever, according to the Minnesota Judicial Branch Self-Help Center. These records contain criminal charges or convictions for an individual that has gone through the criminal justice system. Individual state, city and county departments keep their own set of records pertaining to criminal cases. The Self-Help Center also notes that criminal records are accessible to the public. For example, in Minnesota, anyone can conduct a criminal records search at a district court. Employers and landlords may take the opportunity to look up an ex-offender's record upon receiving an application. It is important to note that a person can have a criminal record for being charged with a crime, even if the charges were dropped.

Someone seeking to remove convictions from his file can request the court reopen the criminal case and dismiss the charges through the expungement process. Expungement does not entirely get rid of the case, states the Sacramento County Public Law Library, but the conviction is replaced with a dismissal in the interests of justice.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you expunge your criminal records?

    A:

    Criminal records can be expunged by first determining if the record is eligible for expungement and completing the necessary paperwork, according to Nolo. If a criminal record can be expunged, the individual may not need the help of an attorney. A fee often must be paid for record expungement.

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  • Q:

    What types of criminal offender records are available to the public in Oklahoma?

    A:

    The state of Oklahoma only provides criminal records for arrests or convictions where fingerprints were taken on serious misdemeanor and felony charges within the state of Oklahoma. No criminal records are available to the public on arrests that did not result in fingerprints, or where fingerprints were insufficient.

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    What is the penalty for simple assault in Pennsylvania?

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    According to FindLaw.com, simple assault in Pennsylvania is a misdemeanor of the second degree, which carries up to 2 years in prison if convicted; however, there are also first-degree misdemeanors for simple assault that carry up to 5 years and third-degree misdemeanors that carry up to 1 year. A first-degree misdemeanor for simple assault occurs when an adult of 21 years of age or older assaults a child of 12 or younger and a third-degree misdemeanor occurs when both parties in the fight or scuffle entered it consensually.

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    What are some of the most common misdemeanors?

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    Common misdemeanors against persons include simple assault, driving while under the influence, domestic violence, drug possession and prostitution, explains Lawyers.com. Common misdemeanors against property are theft, trespass and vandalism.

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