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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26819
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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A few months ago, I was suicidal and my husband called 911

Customer Question

A few months ago, I was suicidal and my husband called 911 to have me put on suicide watch. I had grabbed his shirt while crying and saying I wished I was dead. We told the cops this and they didn't take me to a hospital and said I had committed battery and arrested me. My husband, of course, did not get an order of protection. We told this to the city attorney that same week and he said that was not battery and threw it out within a few days (never charged). My husband told the story again to the lieutenant and filed an official complaint. He agreed that there were not grounds for my arrest and issued me a 'certificate of detention' saying that I was 'never arrested.' He assured me this would show up this way on my record, as a detention, not an arrest. Will the reason for my detention show up on my 'record,' or will it just say 'was detained,' and how does this affect my rights, etc.? I have no priors (neither arrests nor convictions).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


You were never charged by the court, so if this shows up on your criminal history, it would show as a detention, which is less than an arrest. As such, if you are ever asked on an appliction whether you have ever been arrested, the answer is "no."

That said, many people may not understand the difference between a detention and an arrest, so seeing something on your record may confuse them and they may not be inclined to take your word for what happened. So you should keep your certificate of detention so if ever necessary you could prove that this was never an arrest.

It's also possible, though not necessarily easy, to get the detention removed from your California criminal history, since you were never charged with a crime and prosecuted. It would involve getting a certificate of factual innocence from the police if you can get it, or hiring a lawyer and getting such a ruling from the judge. Then your record can be erased.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you! I wanted to reiterate, though-- when detained, does it show up as the specific charge that I was being questioned about, or simply "detention and release" without the code for the charge?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Were you printed and booked for a specific offense? If not, there's nothing that's going to be found and there would be no record of this except on a precinct level but yes, what you were detained for would be reflected.

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