We all depend on people in our lives to be honest with us. Unfortunately, not everyone is up to that task. If you’re getting to know someone, you deserve for them to be on the level with you. That doesn’t mean they have to tell you their life story the first time you meet, as there is such a thing as too much information too fast. But if you’re cynical, there’s some good news: university research shows most people are not inherently dishonest.
At the same time, you must listen to your gut. If you think someone is hiding an important part of their past, you deserve answers. Here’s how to find out if someone in your life is hiding an arrest record.
What An Arrest Record Means
First, it’s a good idea to define what it means to have a criminal record. The FBI’s standard is that anyone who has been arrested for a felony has a record. That’s true even if the charges were later dropped or otherwise did not lead to a conviction. By that measure, 73.5 million people in the United States have a criminal record. That’s a lot more than most people realize, so it’s helpful to know the exact numbers before you judge someone for getting arrested at some point in the past.
For many people, a DUI arrest 10 years ago will not be a dealbreaker, assuming that the person hasn’t reoffended and doesn’t currently have an obvious drinking problem. But it’s up to every individual to draw that line. There are some crimes that are a lot harder to get past, including things like manslaughter and rape. And not many people are going to go on a second date with someone who admits to just getting out of jail after serving 20 years for murder.
But before you can determine what is and isn’t a dealbreaker for you, you need access to the right kind of records. To do that, it helps if you know a few signs that something is up.
Searching For Arrests And Convictions
Let’s say that you meet a guy on a dating app. You already know of possible red flags that indicate he might be a creep, like calling you “baby” too soon or posting a lot of shirtless gym selfies. But how can you tell if someone is possibly hiding a criminal record?
Look for evasive answers or big gaps in his past. If he says he went to college but won’t tell you a single thing about what he studied or what he liked, that may mean he was actually behind bars that whole time. Or it could also mean he didn’t have much fun in college; you don’t want to jump to conclusions. Look for a pattern of dodging questions rather than a one-time thing. We all have parts of our past we’re not super-thrilled about, after all.
If you do decide to look for his arrest records, think about what you’ll do if you find something negative. If you’re going to break it off, you need to make sure you can do so safely. It’s not a great idea to search for Montgomery County arrest records without first mentally preparing yourself. And if you do find something that’s distressing, you have a couple of options.
You can break off the relationship and ghost him if you feel like that’s the safest option. If you find out your date has been arrested for domestic violence, it’s natural to feel uneasy and unsafe. It’s OK to send a text that says you’re ending it, then block their number completely. If they’ve got any kind of self-awareness, they’ll know why you ended things. Don’t apologize for prioritizing your personal safety over their feelings.