I recently received this inquiry from a former client (the names, dates, times have been altered)
I have a question regarding my arrest history, which is widely open to the public—displayed on the Cornell University police website. I was arrested by Cornell University police many years ago, and was accused of DUI. I almost erased this unpleasant memory from my ordinary life, but I was reminded of this incident when I received an email from a friend.
My friend said that he conducted a Google search to find my education history information by typing ‘my name + Cornell.’ Instead of finding my education history, he found my arrest history on the Cornell police website.
I was very surprised, stressed, and this is making me feel unsafe because my private record is has been widely open to the public. Indeed, I do not intend to hide my arrest record if someone requested this information for an appropriate reason and using the proper procedures, I would provide that person with this information. However, I do not think it is legitimate to open my personal information and history to the public so everyone can search my arrested record.
My questions are as follows:
1) Is there any way to get rid of this record from the police website? Do the police keep these histories permanently?
2) If it is NOT possible to erase this arrest record, is there any way to block the record from being searched using Google or other search engines? This blocking process, of course, has to be legitimate. Do you have any idea or advice on this?
It's impossible. It's like erasing the news or the weather. It happened and it was a public record. How would or could anyone erase something like that ?
I guess the first question is: Is it or are you newsworthy?
How much or how little of it is talked about or written about YOUR DWI would be determined by the severity of the charges? Was there an accident? Were there people hurt? Are you someone of prominence within the community? A political candidate is most definitely front page even if their DWI is minor as is the guy that works a local fast food place that kills someone.
Are you of interest to the public? The truth is that Bad news sells.
I think searching your name over and over would not help to bury your history on page 20 of google. It is kinda like asset protection or security. As good as it is or no matter what you spend "It" is never 100%, it just makes it more difficult for people to get at or to your stuff. People prefer easy and do not like to work hard so I would just forget about it and leave it alone.
I believe that in this day and age "If" someone searches long enough and hard enough I am sure they would discover arrests, divorces, license problems, education history or your review of a restaurant in Cleveland.
Always consult with an attorney about any criminal or non-criminal charges you have pending to discuss your options and/or defenses.
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