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Your Permanent Record: The Internet

In the past, a person’s criminal record would affect only a job search. Even then, most employers for regular jobs did not actually pay the money to conduct a background check on an interviewee or employee.

One word changed all of that: Google.

Oh, how the times have changed! These days, everything will show up on a search engine, especially incarceration records and highly publicized information like the sex offender registry. If an employer pays $50 for one of those third-party background checks advertised online -- which often report outdated or inaccurate information about arrests or dismissals -- a misdemeanor or violation may show up. This includes pink summons tickets for Indecent Exposure, Public Urination, or other embarrassing incidents, and once a person pays the fine, he is considered guilty forever!

Nowadays, a person’s life will be documented for all to see. Public documentation of a criminal offense can taint a person’s reputation forever.

I do not say this as a scare tactic. My practice receives calls every week from people with old misdemeanor and felony records. Unfortunately, once a person pleads guilty, even to a misdemeanor or violation, they cannot ever fight the charge again (except in very rare cases). Once a person pays a fine or accepts any other type of punishment, including community service, the person has accepted guilt. It may cost more money up front to fight for one's innocence at the beginning of a case instead of just pleading guilty and paying a fine, but it is substantially cheaper than trying to undo a guilty plea after the case ends. A person's choice at the beginning of a case will determine whether he will have to pay thousands of dollars to fight for a clean record later.

New York does not allow expunged records. The choice you make in court today will affect you for the rest of your life. Today, the Internet is your permanent record. The reality of the Internet -- and the permanent record -- raises the stakes of a criminal case. It makes the decision to hire a New York criminal attorney extremely important.
Attorney Advertising: All content sponsored by The Law Office of Adam Bevelacqua, LLC. Although informational, this website may be considered attorney advertising. Every case has unique circumstances, and a person should consult a criminal attorney before taking any legal action.