Arrest record but no charges

Typically, an arrest record will show the date, arresting agency, and the subject’s name (and other identifiers such as DOB and address), without specifying the charge or charges. The reason for this is twofold: (1) until the district attorney (“DA”) files a criminal case, there are no charges; and (2) the charges filed by the DA may be different than the charges on which the arresting officer based the arrest. An “arrest” and “being charged with a crime” are different things (although obviously related).  An “arrest” means that a person is taken into custody because they have been accused either by a warrant or by probable cause of committing a crime. Once in custody, the prosecutor’s office will decide whether the person will be charged with a crime. The person will then be given a charging document (complaint or information) that will state what charges they are facing.

A record will never show that an arrest was “dropped.” At best, you can infer that no charges were filed after an arrest if there is no corresponding court case.

Check Also

CFPB’s Advisory Opinion on Name-Only Matching for Consumer Reporting

On July 12, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an advisory opinion related …