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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Extensive training and experience in criminal law matters, both prosecuting and defending.
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Is it true that a person has the right to keep the fact of

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Is it true that a person has the right to keep the fact of having been charged utterly confidential?

J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

J.Hazelbaker :

It is true that you cannot be forced directly to report that you have been charged.

J.Hazelbaker :

A charge is not a conviction.

J.Hazelbaker :

However, a charge will remain on your record until expunged or sealed.

J.Hazelbaker :

And, unless you are a juvenile in particular states, a record is publicly discoverable.

J.Hazelbaker :

Thus, someone conducting a background check for a criminal record can discover that you were charged (and also that the charge(s) were either dismissed or you were acquitted). Again, this is true unless you petition for the charge to be expunged or sealed.

J.Hazelbaker :

Thus, if you are asked whether you have been convicted, the answer would be "no".

J.Hazelbaker :

If you are asked whether you have ever been charged with a crime, you don't have to answer. However, until the record is sealed or expunged, the asking party can discover the fact.

J.Hazelbaker :

Please let me know what follow-up questions you have. If my above responses have been helpful, please click Accept so that I get credit for the time/effort. You may always restart the thread and ask follow-up questions at any time by clicking the “Reply” button at the bottom of the question/answer thread. You can access this thread later in your profile under the “My Questions” tab.

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