Most people know how important it is to stay aware of certain things from their past, especially when past events can affect future goals. They keep an eye on their credit history for fear of being denied a house purchase or business loan. They think back on a bad relationship to inform what they want from a new relationship.
What people can often forget are minor indiscretions on their criminal record. However, a momentary lapse in judgment could come back to haunt your personal and professional life. You may end up having to explain away a record you didn’t even know existed.
Minor run-ins with the law can still show up on your record, even if you’ve never been convicted or served time. That’s why it’s important to know what kinds of charges might be lurking in your past.
Do you want to avoid the issues an unknown record might cause? Check out these six things that may have unexpectedly left a mark against you on your criminal record (and possibly even an arrest warrant):
1. Forgetting to Pay a Traffic Ticket
If you get any sort of traffic violation and don’t issue payment in a timely manner, it could be enough for the police to issue a warrant for your arrest. Forgetting to pay a speeding ticket may seem like a harmless oversight, but it could cost you. You could wind up having to pay additional fees on top of the initial citation amount. Or yes, you could even technically be arrested.
According to the Davis Law Firm, an average of 125,000 people in the United States receive a traffic citation every day. Don’t be one of those who goes home and forgets about it.
2. The Time You Threw a Punch in Public
College days: when drinking and disagreements were a regular occurrence. Maybe you were arrested for disorderly conduct after one too many punches thrown in a bar, but you weren’t officially charged.
Well, surprisingly, that doesn’t mean the offense is off your criminal record. It could be seen as “disturbing the peace” or, worse, “assault.”
3. The Time You Played Your Music a Little Too Loud
Those college days rear their ugly head again. Have you ever had the cops show up when your party was getting a little too rambunctious? In some states, a noise violation can become a misdemeanor if you neglect to pay the fines.
Generally, a noise violation won’t result in a charge unless a neighbor or your city pursues it. But it’s something to consider if you’ve experienced it in your past and the authorities took down your information.
4. Unintentional Wildlife Violation
You and your buddies take an annual fishing trip, only to be stopped by a game warden after hauling in your catch. Did you make the mistake of already cooking your fish at the water’s edge? That’s grounds for a citation simply because there’s no way to tell if you were catching in-season or out-of-season fish.
Similarly, hunting out of season, bagging over your limit, or hunting or fishing without a license are also violations. If you fail to pay a fine, a warrant can be issued, which could lead to a permanent mark on your record.
5. Dirty Dancing (Yes, Really)
If you decide to do a little dirty dancing, the most you think you’ll have to worry about is some side-eyeing from disapproving strangers. However, some states, like Florida, actually have laws against “dancing in a vulgar manner.”
You can be arrested and possibly even charged for doing so. Many other locations have laws against all sorts of very specific dancing, including marathon dance competitions, dancing with hats on, or even dancing in a place that also serves alcohol.
This shows that even if laws seem silly or unlikely, they still exist to potentially cause you problems.
6. Misdemeanor for Marijuana
It may have been years ago, and you may only have had to perform a few hours of community service. But, while recreational use is now legal in several states, this minor conviction can still show up on your record unless you had it expunged.
Getting Ahead of a Potential Criminal Record
Over 70 million Americans have a criminal record. But not all of them know it or truly deserve to have one.
Are you curious about what might be on yours? There’s an easy way to try and find out. Perform a criminal records search on yourself, and see what comes up. At least then you’ll know. And, if you need to, you can look into clearing your record and your name.
To find out more about what information is available about you, read all about it on the PeopleFinders Blog.
Image attribution: Andrey Popov – stock.adobe.com