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In the US, if a wife calls the police for domestic violence by her husband and charged with felony, but the husband prevails in the lawsuit because his wife was accused of perjury and fabricated evidence, then will the charge of felony be expunged from the husband's criminal record? Will the wife also have a criminal or civil lawsuit record of being accused of perjury and fabricated evidence? Also, can this criminal record for the husband (if not expunged), be found in public records?

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In the US, if a wife calls the police for domestic violence by her husband and charged with felony, but the husband prevails in the lawsuit because his wife was accused of perjury and fabricated evidence, then will the charge of felony be expunged from the husband's criminal record?

Also, can this criminal record for the husband (if not expunged), be found in public records?

It depends upon the nature of the lawsuit. And keep in mind that criminal cases and their consequences are entirely separate from lawsuits between private individuals.

Normally, if he succeeded in a collateral attack on the conviction, historically calls a habeas corpus action, a suit defended by the DA that brought the felony charge, or if he simply isn't convicted after felony charges a pressed, then the husband will not have a criminal conviction on his record, which is the only kind of criminal record that is legally relevant.

This doesn't remove from the record, however, the fact that he was arrested or the fact that he was charged with a felony, which can seriously harm his reputation, and doesn't usually result in compensation to him for the costs of defending the prosecution even if his is not convicted or the conviction is vacated. Some jurisdictions allow certain criminal justice records to be expunged or sealed, but usually not an arrest record. Only a few jurisdictions offer any compensation to someone in his situation who is wrongfully charged or wrongfully convicted.

A lawsuit against the wife can't give the husband any of this relief, because criminal cases are brought by the government in the name of the People, not in the name of the victim of a crime.

Will the wife also have a criminal or civil lawsuit record of being accused of perjury and fabricated evidence?

The wife will have a criminal record only if she is convicted of a crime, although if she is arrested and not convicted, she too will have an arrest record. Perjury prosecutions for testimony in connection with a criminal trial are extremely rare in practice, perhaps one in a thousand cases or less where there is harmful perjury in trial testimony are ever prosecuted as perjury cases.

A civil lawsuit by the husband against the wife, for which he could seek only money damages, would ordinarily be a matter of public record. But unless the wife had significant independent wealth, this would rarely be a cost effective lawsuit to bring, and if the evidence was clear, the most likely outcomes would be either default judgment or a settlement in which neither party admitted liability.

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In the United States, your arrest record follows you around forever.

Some states allow expungement of records like this, some do not. Expungement may not affect some national databases, so Canada may still ask you about it at the border.

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  • Regardless of who's right and wrong, your arrest record follows you around forever? Isn't that a plight for people who were wrong charged but got arrested? Mar 18 at 20:28
  • @HelloDarkWorld "Regardless of who's right and wrong, your arrest record follows you around forever?" Yes. "Isn't that a plight for people who were wrong charged but got arrested?" It isn't very fair at all, but it is the legal reality.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 18 at 20:48
  • @HelloDarkWorld you are assuming the system is designed to be fair. It is designed to deal with "criminals," and the prevailing attitude of the public is "they must've done something to get arrested."
    – Tiger Guy
    Mar 19 at 13:10
  • @HelloDarkWorld You can't be denied civil rights or things like professional licenses, loans, or hiring if you were not convicted of the crime. If they do, it may be basis for a lawsuit.
    – user71659
    Mar 20 at 2:05
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This does, of course, depend on where you are.

In , the usual meaning of a criminal record is the Führungszeugnis, and this contains only convictions or outcomes similar to not guilty by reason of insanity. There are also records of criminal investigations, the Zentrales Staatsanwaltliches Verfahrensregister, but getting information out of that is limited to prosecutors from other states (to combine cases with victims in different states) and similar authorities.

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  • I meant in the US, sorry. Mar 18 at 5:34
  • @HelloDarkWorld FYI. At Law.SE it is considered acceptable and encouraged to provide answers about how situations would be handled in jurisdictions different from the one asked about if they are properly tagged as this one is. This furthers the educational purpose of Law.SE for the general public that may read these questions and answers in the future.
    – ohwilleke
    Mar 18 at 20:49
  • @ohwilleke, the OP edited tags in response to this (first) answer. I noticed a tendency for US posters to assume that their jurisdiction is the only one, but it would be impolite to assume an US context.
    – o.m.
    Mar 19 at 5:14

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