Scrubbing the Internet: Removing Prior Arrests from the Internet

So you were arrested in Connecticut and you were lucky enough to use one of Connecticut’s pretrial diversionary programs?  You stayed out trouble, may have performed community service and had your case dismissed using the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program (“AR”), the Alcohol Education Program (“AEP”), the Drug Education Program (“DEP”), or the Family Violence Education Program (“FVEP”)?  Or maybe your case was “nolled” by Connecticut prosecutors—that is, the prosecutor dropped the charges and your case was automatically dismissed thirteen months after the date of your nolle.

Either way, your case was dismissed and behind you, right?  Not quite if your arrest is still being published on the internet—on online police blotters, on local newspaper websites, and other news websites.

Connecticut’s Erasure Statute—Connecticut General Statutes § 54-142a—does just what its namesake suggests:  erases the arrest.  In fact, under this state statute, once your charges are dismissed, you may “swear under oath” that you have never been arrested.  All of which is particularly frustrating when your arrest is still being reported online.  Not only is this wrong, but it is illegal.  It is libel.

The Law Offices of Mark Sherman is going after these online publications who continue to libel and defame Connecticut individuals who have paid their dues and earned their dismissals in the Connecticut Courts.  The continued publication of their erased arrests haunts them in their job search and social circles.

If this cyber-slandering is happening to you, please give us a call today to discuss your options.  We will do everything possible to scrub the internet clean of any mentions of your erased arrests.  It’s time that these online publications start being held accountable.

4 THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF COMMITTING A CRIME:

1. REMAIN CALM.  It is always very serious when law enforcement comes to your door and accuses you of committing a crime.  One of the most important things you can do to help yourself is remain calm, no matter what the circumstances.  Remember, police are in the business of making arrests.   They will be watching you closely, evaluating every verbal and nonverbal move of yours.  Stay cool, calm and composed.

2. REMAIN SILENT.  In most cases, it is advantageous for you to remain silent at the time of your first interaction with law enforcement.  Be courteous, request their contact information, and let them know that your attorney will be in touch.  Unless they have a warrant, do not let them search any residential or real property of yours and politely ask them to leave your property.

3. PAY ATTENTION.  Listen to what law enforcement is saying to you.  If they are accusing you of a crime, listen and remember what it is they are accusing you of, who is allegedly involved, and what they believe your involvement is.  All of this information will be helpful to your attorney, and will enable your attorney to more effectively assist you.

4. AND MOST IMPORANTLY…CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY.   Do not try to go head-to-head with law enforcement.  They are trained professionals with years of experience in interrogation and investigation.  Contact an attorney immediately.  Attorneys from the Law Offices of Mark Sherman are available 24-7.  Please call our main number at (203) 358-4700 and our operators will connect you to an attorney.