Criminal Offense Charges: How Public Are They?


Criminal Offense Charges How Public Are TheyIn Virginia, whenever a person is charged or arrested for any criminal offense, from Drunk In Public or Reckless Driving, to a DUI or Robbery, this information will be in court records and police files; and the criminal charge or arrest information is available on “Websites” and on police software programs available to anyone who knows how to obtain this information. So, the whole world can know of a charge or arrest record that is pending or any criminal conviction.

Technically, anyone can find just about anything and everything about a person’s criminal charge, arrest or conviction record, now pending, or in the past in Virginia; but, the good news is most people don’t do that. It’s not like their charge, arrest or conviction is posted on a roadside Billboard advertising that they’ve been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime. But, that said, the criminal information about a person is always available; and anyone motivated enough to search for that information can find it on the internet , whether it’s a prospective employer, security agency, apartment rental company, your kids’ schools, your neighbors, or even your family.

Don’t Talk To Police If Charged With a Criminal Offense

Of course, people talk too much. They tell their friends and neighbors, or their employers or colleagues that they got charged or arrested for something. These things can cause somebody that’s just been charged and arrested, but not even convicted, to lose their job, their security clearance and their friends; as many people often want to stay away from people that have been charged, arrested or convicted of a crime. So, why advertise the fact yourself? Do as you have seen in the movies and TV. Assume there is an attorney sitting on your shoulder and whispering in your ear, two words, “Don’t Talk”!

Social Media is Not a Billboard For Posting About Your Criminal Offense Charges

Then, there are those people, especially young people, who post their stupid and bad deeds on Facebooktwitter, Instagram and other social media. In reality, most of the time, if a friend, neighbor, colleague or boss finds out that you’ve been charged or arrested for a crime, it’s because you made the information available, not the criminal justice system. Now you know why, in most every movie and TV show involving crimes, lawyers always tell their clients to speak to no one, except their lawyer, about their criminal charge. Sometimes, TV and movies do get it right!

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