The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that more than 250 million arrests have occurred in the United States over the course of the last 20 years. Due to this massive number of arrests, the FBI has collected 77.7 million names in its master database. That represents almost a third of all American adults and the numbers are only growing — by approximately 10,000 to 12,000 names every day.
Twenty years ago, this would not represent as much of a problem for convicted and accused persons as it does in this day and age, where information is highly accessible. Indeed, the biggest problem relates to the way banks, employers, universities and landlords do background checks on their prospective employees, students, tenants and borrowers. Individuals with arrests on their records run the risk of being unfairly discriminated against — even if the individual was innocent and his or her arrest did not result in a conviction.
Unfortunately, it is a myth that if someone is arrested and accused of crime, but later clears their name with the court system, that there will not be any negative impact. The court system follows the rule of law and no individual will be criminally punished or viewed as guilty until — and only if — that individual is convicted of his or her crime. However, community members, family, friends and prospective romantic partners, employers, schools and others do not tend to follow this high-minded rule of law.
At Bachner & Associates, PC, we know how important our clients’ criminal backgrounds are. That is why we take every effort we can to minimize the non-legal and non-criminal, societal and employment related repercussions that can accompany a criminal charge. We do everything in our power to protect and preserve our clients’ rights and reputations.