I have an arrest from about a decade ago for a petty crime. I was taken to a local jail given a court case and released. I went in front of the prosecutor and have no idea what actually happened to my case. I had to do a few days of community service. A few years ago I needed the record for some personal filing information and but the court where my case was did not have my record. They gave me a docket number and had me pick it up from Records Center. The thing is what I received does not say what the disposition was. I called the local court where my case was and was told that there is no public record of my arrest. They said it was either nullied, dismissed, acquital or records were erased. I have no idea what's going on. Does anyone have any experience with this?
If your case was nullified, that means you went to court, and the court decided to act as if your case never happened. It just hasn't happened.
If your case was dismissed, that means the court said there was no reasonable evidence to prosecute you. That's one better than "not guilty". The judge said he doesn't even see a need to check whether you are guilty.
Since you did a few days of community service, the first two possibilities seem unlikely. If the case was nullified or dismissed, you wouldn't have done community service.
So it's the third: The case is sealed. You were probably quite young at the time, and the crime was minimal, so the court decided that nobody is supposed to find out about it, so you won't have problems finding a job, and so on. If someone asks if you were convicted for a crime, you can say "no". It would be very, very hard for anyone to find out about the conviction, and then they would most likely not be allowed to tell anyone. (For example, the judge might remember you but wouldn't tell anyone about it).
Not only you can't find out anything about what happened, but nobody can. Apart from your community service, it's as if it had never happened.
PS. If someone knows under which conditions someone could find out about a sealed conviction, I'd be curious to know. Same if someone can say when a case would be nullified (instead of dismissed).
Not True!!! Your arrest record will show on your FBI record as having no disposition...I am going through this nightmare myself! Worst yet, often times it is the accused that is required to submit proof of dismissal. If you ever have to take an FBI background check (usually if working with children or healthcare field) they may think that the case is still open so you should request your FBI record to see if the disposition is on it. If so that will solve your problem and you will have it on record...there is a 50/50 chance though as close to half of all FBI arrest records have wrong or missing disposition information on them...frustrating. If its missing on the FBI record you might consider getting your arrest record expunged if it's going to affect your employment. It won't leave your record, it will show expunged but its better than just showing as an open case!