Can a police see a prior arrest if the case was dismissed and sealed?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a police see a prior arrest if the case was dismissed and sealed?

If a person is arrested and the case
gets dismissed and sealed, if a police
officer stops you for any reason and
looks you up can they see your prior

Asked on April 21, 2016 under Criminal Law, New York


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the case is officially expunged and completely taken off the record, then no one, including law enforcement, is able to ever see the arrest again.  However, if the case is only dismissed, then law enforcement will continue to have access.  If the case is "sealed," then law enforcement's access will depend on how the case was sealed and the parameters of the sealing.  Sometimes, law enforcement will still have some limited access.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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