As The Washington Post reported, there are approximately more than two million incarcerated Americans (2013). Regardless of any differences in crimes committed or the length of jail or prison sentences, inmates under various circumstances have the potential to experience feelings of depression and loneliness.
While receiving a sentence and spending a significant amount of time in a confinement facility can add to the difficulty of legal woes, an arrest itself can be a shameful and stressful experience for some people.
An arrest can result from small and large legal offenses, which can be frustrating for some people because it remains on their record. Being arrested for involvement in a petty prank, participating in a protest, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time, for instance, aren’t actions that constitute a criminal conviction, but the arrest records can be viewable in some parts of the US
Some people may think arrest records and other records are private and confidential, but they are, in fact, public information. Arrest records, mugshots, birth and death records, marriage and divorce records, contact and address information, and more constitute documents that are available to the public.
An individual or agency who needs public information regarding someone can use the Internet to retrieve their records. Using a public data aggregation site, such as GoLookUp, enables users to access the information they need. GoLookUp is a free online information data site that scans and analyzes billions of criminal and public records, and compiles them and makes them searchable and accessible. This secure, reliable website gives users access to US residents’ contact and address information, marriage and divorce records, public mugshots, arrest and police records, social media activity, and more. Internet users can use GoLookUp to do background checks on themselves and other US residents.
The online and offline availability of public mugshots and arrest records can make some people anxious because job recruiters and college admissions officers and recruiters could access such data with ease. For this reason, many people fear that mistakes in their youth can prevent them from pursuing their career and college aspirations.
A 2010 report from the Center for Community Alternatives revealed that 66 percent of colleges ask about applicants’ criminal history during admissions, and had unfavorable opinions regarding even misdemeanor arrests. Each school is different, however, and criminal history information may not impact the decision to admit students at every school that collects such records.
Many colleges use the Common Application form, which asks applicants about a criminal record. While this system requires applicants to answer questions about their disciplinary records, adjudications of guilt, or misdemeanor and felony convictions, it allows colleges to decide if they will receive the answers. An arrest may not impact a college application or financial aid the same way a conviction might. For instance, applicants convicted of drug offenses aren’t eligible to receive financial assistance, such as student loans or Pell Grants.
People who feel they’re receiving unfair treatment in the college application process or don’t know their rights concerning disclosing juvenile and criminal records should talk to a lawyer. People can consult the legal resources provided by the professional legal team at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman. This New Jersey legal team of professionals has handled thousands of cases for clients injured by medical malpractice, automobile accidents, or workplace incidents. Additional practice areas include wrongful death suits, premises liability cases, driving offenses, and expungements.
People with an arrest in their history, as well as individuals with an arrest and conviction, should note that while an arrest could affect their college application, it shouldn’t keep them from applying.