Information for any sort of an arrest in Virginia is usually available to the public, but a person must know how to obtain it. There are circumstances in which somebody’s record of their DUI arrest may be made public.The DUI arrest can be made public when it is considered a public interest. For example, it is a significant case; there is something unusual about it because the person is newsworthy, or the timing of the incident is newsworthy. The DUI arrest can be published in the local paper or reported on the news, radio, or TV.
If you are facing drunk driving charges and want to know more about DUI arrest records in Fredericksburg, a distinguished DUI lawyer can clarify what that may mean for your future. A Fredericksburg DUI lawyer can explain how local laws may apply to your case.
When someone is booked for a DUI, that record is kept in a number of places. Usually, there is a physical and computer record at the local jurisdiction, whether it is the Fredericksburg Police Department, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, or the Virginia State Police. Mug shots are usually made available only in a case where a media entity like Crime Times or other arrest-related publications requests that information from the local sheriff’s office.
A DUI arrest record in Fredericksburg may also be kept in a central criminal record, most notably the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) and the Central Criminal Record Exchange (CCRE). These records are maintained in federal databases and are used to keep track of individuals and crimes throughout the country. Some types of information are only accessible to law enforcement and law enforcement type clearances through CCRE.
Other information may be available to the public. They could do it like a public records request. Most local newspapers publish regular reporting of arrests. The weekend papers have a report for arrest records in Fredericksburg or a private report from police sometimes called the police blotter.
There can also be a situation in which a local publication such as Crime Times publishes mug shots and direct information of the accused. That happens in some jurisdictions but not others. Those publications submit FOIA requests to the jail to get the information showing who was arrested and pertinent information about them.
Other public arrest information is available from different sources. Someone can do background checks to find out Fredericksburg DUI arrest record information. They can request that information through the online court information system. There are many avenues where someone can get information about a person’s past.
When someone has an arrest record in Fredericksburg, the consequences may vary from no consequence at all to very significant collateral consequences. It can create a stigma in the community. There can be employment consequences because employers have a zero tolerance policy for such actions. The person may lose their security clearance or be refused other job opportunities when they are looking for a new job.
Sealing and expungement for arrest records in Fredericksburg refer to two different legal processes. Expungement is an option if an individual is found not guilty. Generally, a record of a DUI arrest is not subject to being sealed because is not particularly sensitive or harmful in a way that is not balanced by the need for the record to be public.
Being arrested for a DUI is typically not a sealable record. It may be expungable, but Virginia has a very specific expungement statute that defines what is and is not expungable. The thing to know is Virginia never expunges actual convictions or findings of guilt. Other states do after periods of time, but Virginia does not.
In the case of a conviction, the conviction can never be expunged. Sealing refers to the closing of a record to public access for reasons of privacy or other concerns. Expungement refers to the deletion or destruction of an arrest record and any consequence.
If someone wants to have their records sealed, they should ask their DUI attorney to research whether their record is appropriate for sealing under the applicable statute that applies to sealing arrests. There are limited abilities to seal a record. An individual would then have to petition the court to seal the record.
If an individual is found not guilty or otherwise acquitted of a DUI arrest, records in Fredericksburg remain public unless they move to expunge it. To expunge a record, the person should file a petition with the local circuit court and the filing entity and show cause why the record should be expunged. The filing fee is $96 of which $84 is refundable if the expungement is granted. The only thing that is not refundable is the service fee to the sheriff.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law