Find Deals at Police Auctions

Police auctions are a great way to buy things. We have bought a three year old car, two bikes and a computer from these sales. We have also bought smaller household items, like the microwave one of our sons took to college. I have my mother and my sister now joining me at these sales, because they were shocked at what I was paying for these items!
The prices were fantastic! We paid only about five thousand dollars for the car and less than fifty dollars for each of the bikes. The computer only cost us thirty-five dollars and works great! We use it upstairs as an extra computer.
Watch the newspapers – both the big city papers and the smaller, local papers, for information on when these sales are held. You can also call the police department or look at their websites for this information, and the bigger cities will have commercials on the television and radio. You will find a list of what they are selling, so you can decide if this sale is for you or if you want to wait until the next one.
The things they sell are amazing – just about everything you can imagine. The items are either things seized during drug raids, or are unclaimed items they have recovered. I have never had a bad experience during any of the sales I have attended, and I have attended several from many different police departments.

Many take cash only; some will allow credit cards, so make sure you find out before you go. Wear comfortable shoes, many have no seating or very limited seating, so you are likely to be standing for a long while. Bringing a water bottle and snacks is a good idea, too! Most all of the police

departments have checked out the items they are selling to make sure they work. I even got a full mechanic’s report on the car we bought. They are like any other auction, so don’t be upset if someone outbids you! I go with a list of what I really want and have a set amount I want to pay for it, so I don’t get caught up in the excitement and overspend. Try it – you’ll love it.

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History of Domestic Violence Programs

U.S. Response to Domestic Violence a  History of Domestic Violence Programs

Call the police about a domestic violence situation in the 1960s, and the response may have been sympathetic but often was not. People were told to work it out or sleep it off. Call the police about a domestic violence situation in the first decade of the 21st century, and the response is completely different: there will probably be an arrest and the victim will be told of social service and legal options.

The response to domestic violence has changed drastically and positively in a single generation. The domestic violence programs were founded in the early 1970s as shelters for battered women; the first one was in England but they came to the U.S. very soon. At that time, these shelters were designed for women to stay a few days because at that time no one really knew the kinds of services that would be most helpful for victims of domestic violence and their children. Shelters were often a project of the women’s movement and as such were marginalized in the world of social services in a community.

Relations with the police in those days were not generally strong for a number of reasons. One is that domestic violence runs are really dangerous for police officers and they were frustrated with having to deal with the same families over and over. At that point, they typically did not see the shelter as an ally and a service that could prevent violence towards officers. Another is that as a part of the women’s movement, shelters seemed strange and somewhat threatening to mainstream law enforcement.

In the first twenty years of their existence, shelters developed in a number of ways. First off, as shelter personnel listened to the needs of the people using their services, domestic violence programs changed. Families could stay longer than just a few days and ultimately some larger programs created transitional housing where families could stay for a year or two. Domestic violence programs began also to create legal advocacy programs with personnel who would go to criminal court with victims and who would explain what was going to happen and the victim’s legal options. They also began to create programs for the many children who stayed in the shelters.

Domestic violence programs began to network with each other as more and more communities developed programs. In the state of Ohio, for example, the marriage license tax helps to pay for domestic violence programs in each county, which became incentive for each county to develop a program. Shelters networked to serve clients, particularly when a situation became dangerous enough that a client needed to get out of town. But they also began to create statewide organizations and eventually a national organization, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. By working together in state and national organizations, domestic violence programs shared information and effective strategies for advocating for their clients with each other.

Within each community, the domestic violence program became a major player in the social service network. Getting into the network was a function of having survived in the community even while marginalized but also through gaining a reputation for being able to change relationships at least in some families. Children’s services workers often recognized that when women were in shelters, there was staff observing family relationships and that was helpful to their planning for potential victims of abuse and neglect.

Over time, relations with law enforcement changed, too. In one town, the police officers and court official began to notice that when the shelter legal advocate worked with a victim, the victim did not drop charges. They began to feel that their efforts in helping families with violence problems would actually lead to something positive instead of just going to the same old houses over and over again. In some communities, police response options began to be studied and it was discovered that when an arrest was made, police were less likely to be called back to the family’s home. This led to mandatory arrest policies in many cities. In order to implement mandatory arrest, police officers had to be trained in understanding the dynamics of domestic violence and this training was part of the change in their responses.

Another area where change is really evident is the church. During the 1960s it was not uncommon for women to be encouraged by the church to stay in violent relationships because “God hates divorce.” Over time, ministers and church people have gotten involved with domestic violence programs as volunteers and donors and have learned about what it is really like in a violent family. Now, many ministers and pastors advise victims to get out of violent relationships. Nowadays, shelters are a mainstream social service agency, along with alcohol and drug treatment programs, children’s services, and many other social services in a typical community.

Domestic violence programs may offer a wide range of services, from shelter to community-based support groups, long term housing, legal advocacy, advocacy in other areas of life, and even programs for the abusers. While average citizens may not know much about domestic violence programs in their community, they probably know that these programs exist—domestic violence programs and their values have become part of Americans’ consciousness.

Domestic violence programs have also become better funded and often they have moved from old rickety houses to spacious and professional-looking quarters, sometimes to buildings that were specifically designed to be shelters. In the past forty years we have moved from racist laws to having an African American President. But progress in Civil Rights has not been our only achievement. America’s response to domestic violence has moved from non-existent to very effective and helpful. While there are many social issues that remain a problem for our culture, our children at least know that both racism and family violence are wrong.

Criminal Background Checks for Personal Use

Criminal background checks, a phrase that conjures up visions of interviewing, and political drama. In the past, checking someone’s criminal history stemmed out of liability issues for potential employers, as companies wanted to know who they were dealing with. Criminal background searches were also widely used by insurance companies. But, what about using criminal checks in our personal lives? In the current date it is not uncommon for dating individuals to do background checks to weed out shady potential partners.

We’ve all seen the faux scenarios acted out on television and in movies, where one jokes are actually gets a background check on a suitor. But, what if it is not just a joke, or an idea merely for entertainment value? What if checking the criminal history for those entering our personal lives became standard? With the help of the world wide web, such a thought may soon become a common reality. When searching the internet, one quick look-up of “criminal background check” yields dozens, if not hundreds of sites just for this purpose. Many criminal search sites may, at first glance, seem like a scams, asking for money in return for a history that no one can really verify up front. But, from my own experience, some criminal background sites are legit. For a mere $10 in many cases, one can research the shady past of just about anyone. I am weary of personal criminal search websites which have increment pricing, vowing to divulge deeper information for more money. But, honestly, one digression in someone’s past may warrant enough for the “searcher” to have no need for further information.

The best way I have found to perform a criminal background check is basically free as long as you live in a progressive, internet oriented jurisdiction. For instance, in Pennsylvania, one can search by name and county to find criminal court history of anyone with a troubled past in that particular county. Of course, one would have to search multiple counties for a thorough check. It also shows every case associated with that person, guilty or not, having cases closed or open.

One’s judgment comes more into play when performing criminal searches. Especially if the person being searched is truly not guilty. Moral issues are definitely brought to the forefront with personal searches of this nature. The issues of integrity and honesty are brought to light when dealing with criminal background checks for personal use. What if there is a mistake? What if there is a false positive? And, how does one use the information they find? Breaking up, avoidance, and even restraining orders may unnecessarily occur. Also, true love knows no bounds and that might be enough to dismiss any past faults. One thing is for sure, you can find anything if you look hard enough. Some companies run background checks as employers, and I have known several to use that route for their own personal use. It is becoming more common every day. Seemingly, as we get more connected through the internet, we can also put up more walls if deemed necessary by the information we find. Personally, I’m a risk taker, and I like the good, old-fashioned way, taking my chances, and leaving the past in the past.

Domestic Violence Against Women Awareness and Centers

Many organizations have started shelters for women and children whom are affected by domestic violence. Often these centers are in every day neighborhoods and their locations are kept secret. As it is their goal to keep the abuser away from the abused. Domestic violence facts have stated, once women have made the decision to leave the abuser and press charges the abuser often gets mad, angrier than they have ever been and the abuse can excelled to something worse than it was before. As a result it is necessary to keep the women and children protected and safe from the abuser by keeping their location secret.

It is important for citizens of the United States to support these homes and provide abused women with things they may need to survive. There is a fear that domestic violence will increase in the United States as the economy continues to plummet. Often domestic abuse increases when there is stress in the household, job loss, potential of losing ones home, car and not being able to pay bills increase stress and often leads to drinking and further abuse.

It is the goal of agencies to help reduce these stresses and help families struggling with the potential of violence in the home so that we can reduce the number of women and children in the emergency room. It is very important that we educate those involved in domestic violence and abuse. There is a need to provide counseling to the abuser as well as the abused. The person being abused is not the only victim in this situation, often the abuser was abused as a child, he learned the behavior from somewhere. His or her actions will continue if we do not re direct him or her and teach him ways to deal with his anger, stress and frustration other than by hitting those they love and care for the most.

Domestic abuse is not always the wife or girlfriend being abused by the husband, there are cases in which the husband is being abused as well. Often the abuse goes both ways, the wife is hitting as much as the husband is. The best case scenario in situations like this is for the couple to separate and take classes to learn to deal with their anger. If they cannot be together without causing one another harm then they do not need to be together at all.

Domestic abuse also includes children, children see their parents being abused and at times the children are the ones being abused. Often if the father abuses the child, the mother is then verbally abused so that she will not report the actions of the father. Her goal is to protect her husband and does not see that what is happening to her children is wrong and needs to be stopped. She is so beat down emotionally that she does not have the energy to remove her children from the situation. In cases like this it is necessary for The Department of Children Services to step in and remove the children from harms way. Often when this happens the mothers are convinced to leave the fathers and to seek help for themselves as well.

Domestic violence in the United States is not just a problem for the police, social services and hospitals. It is a problem for all of us, and it is necessary for us to do what we can to help protect the victims of abuse.

Domestic Violence in the US

Domestic Violence in the US

In homes across America women (and sometimes men) suffer at the hands of those they love. Many victims of domestic abuse stay silent out of fear or a belief that “he didn’t mean it” or “he will change”. At the root, domestic violence shouldn’t happen to anyone, and people should not hurt the ones they love. Staying in a violent relationship damages the body and self-esteem of the victim and also distorts a child’s understanding of relationships.

About 1 out of 3 women will experience physical or sexual abuse at some point in her life. Abusers use physical and emotional methods to gain and maintain control over their victims. Victims can be anyone, wives or husbands, wealthy or not. Violence spans all classes and colors of people but it more prevalent in households with lower incomes. Teenage or elderly couples are not immune from abuse either, it can occur as violent physical acts or cruel emotional torment.

The abusers are just as diverse. They can be drug addicts, jealous spouses, and people with low self-esteem. While anyone can be an abuser there are certain signs that most will exhibit. These type of people have short fuses, have a sense of entitlement and see a partner as belonging to them. Most abusers know that their behavior is wrong and try to hide it away from the public eye, this is why it is very important to trust a friend or family member when they come forward and tell you about abuse rather than brushing them off because you can see it for yourself. They can react violently and hurt the victim physically or forcing them into sexual contact, emotional abusers restrict the victim’s lifestyle and contact with friends and family through threats, manipulation and demeaning them emotionally.
Some abusers manipulate children or withhold money a strategy of control, this can leave a victim feeling helpless and dependent on the abuser. The common thread is that abusers mean to break the victim down, to make them feel worthless and keep them under their control. Victims of abuse know that something is wrong, often they feel stuck in the bad situation because of a dependency on the abuser, family pressure, not wanting to come forward with an accusation for fear of retaliation or discrimination or a desire to “stay together for the kids”.

With the support of their family, victims and their children can leave abusive relationships to lead lives that are much more secure. Staying in an abusive relationship can have different affects on children. They may grow up thinking that abuse is acceptable, or grow to resent the parents both for the abuse and for the exposure to it.

There are many organizations that offer help in the form of safe shelters, counseling, legal advice and emotional support. There are national and local organizations of all types that are ready and willing to offer an ear and help. Once a victim decides to leave they need the protection and support of the law, friends, and family. A victim should make a plan of escape, protecting themselves and their children. Police officers are willing to accompany victims in moving out to provide protection if the abuser tries to prevent them from leaving.

Once out of the bad situation the victim must not fall back into the relationship, unless strong therapy and change has occurred. During this time the abused will need emotional support and reassurance. They may find their whole life uprooted, looking for a new job, a new place to live, all why trying to avoid contact with the abuser. It is a long road to rebuild self-esteem and confidence after abuse, and there may be emotional scars that will never heal. Victims need remember than no matter how hard they think it is to leave, anything is better than ending up dead.

Origins of Money Laundering? What is Black Money?

Money laundering is a form of financial crime. The action to conceal the source of money obtained by illegal means similar to illegal speculation, mafia activities, drug trafficking, weapons, extortion, corruption, among methods, in order to reinvest the funds in legal activities like construction, real estate, stocks or others. This is an important step, because without money, criminals could use such a massive scale illegal income without being spotted. Money laundering is a technique. Upstream laundering there is always an underlying offense or an activity whose income is considered to be dirty money which normally comes from prostitution, illegal sale of drugs, drug trafficking, corruption, misappropriation of funds, and on and on. The underlying offenses are listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the criminal code of every country. The black money is the opposite of laundered money.

What is Money Laundering? Black Money?

What is Money Laundering? Black Money?

The origin of the expression “money laundering” is that money acquired illegally is called dirty money . This money is often derived from trafficking in weapons, drugs, human beings or other mafia activities. Laundering money allows the money to be spent to without any illegal acts being tied to it. Another possible origin of the term “money laundering” comes from the fact that Al Capone, the head of a Mafia family in the in 1920’s in Chicago, used a chain of laundries called the the Sanitary Cleaning Shops . This allowed him to cover illegal money and recycle resources from many of its illicit activities. Money laundering was not used in a court case until 1982. However, the arrest of Al Capone for tax evasion, and not for crimes committed, shows the importance and difficulty of laundering money in the fight against organized crime.

The mafioso Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky right arm from 1932 understood the importance of inventing new techniques for money laundering, including through the network of politically independent islands or the well known terms, offshore countries. Money-laundering methods With the fight becoming increasingly important against the laundering of money from banks and tax havens, as well as the lifting of banking secrecy on the orders of Justice, criminals were forced to turn to others to launder their money. Businesses such as jewelers and companies who commonly import and export were the first targets to launder money. The creation of a number of false invoices from dummy companies can pose as clean money.

But there are of course many other methods, the imagination of criminals in this case is almost limitless, for example, smurfing is probably the most common method of money laundering. This method requires the involvement of many individuals whose role is to deposit cash in bank accounts or to obtain bank drafts of less than $10k of the currency of the said country to avoid the reporting threshold. Complicity bank is when an employee of the bank was criminally involved to facilitate the process of money laundering.

Another way to launder money is called company remittance and exchange, in this method offices make available to their clients that allow them to earn foreign currency that can be taken across the border. It may also, through these offices, telegraph money to accounts in foreign banks. It is even possible to obtain mandates, bank checks and travelers checks through these companies. Procurement of goods for cash is were launderers buy and pay cash for high value goods such as cars, boats and certain luxury goods such as jewelry or electronic equipment. They will use these items, but they buying on behalf of a partner. Electronic Funds Transfer, also known as electronic or wire transfers, is a method which the criminal can transfer funds from one city or one country to another to avoid the physical transportation of money. Money orders are used in technique which exchanges cash against mandates outpost, which are then sent abroad to end bank deposit.

Credit cards can be used by criminals pay the balance in excess of their credit cards and keep a high credit balance which can be used in many ways such as purchasing goods or conversion value of the credit balance in check. Casinos used to be commonly used launderers where they buy tokens in exchange for cash and then collect their fees by check. Refining is a technique which involves exchanging small against large cuts in order to decrease the volume. To this end, the money launderer exchange large sums of money from one bank to another to avoid arousing suspicion. This is to reduce the large sums of money.

Alteration of values is when launderer purchases a property of a person willing to declare a price significantly below the real value of the property and pay the difference in cash “in secret”. The launderer can buy a home worth two million dollars for only a million and secretly send the seller the rest of the money it owes. After a certain period of detention of the property, the money launderer sells its real price, or two million dollars. Auto loans are used when a dealer gives an accomplice money illegally. This accomplice lends a sum equivalent loan documents in support, to create the illusion that the criminal money is legitimate. The schedule for repayment of the loan by the Criminal adds to the appearance of legitimacy of the combine, and provides yet another way to transfer funds.

Amalgamation of funds in legitimate businesses is a metheod of money laundering by criminal organizations and individuals that are involved where money is landered by investing in companies that normally have a high volume of cash transactions to include the proceeds of crime to business legitimate brewed by the company. Finally, some criminals buy businesses that generate gross receipts from sales in cash. This is the case of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, hotels, and vending machine companies. They then invest those funds obtained by fraudulent means by combining with an income that otherwise would not be sufficient to support a company honest.

With globalization of trade and capital are becoming increasingly important and frequent, the fight against money laundering is now done on an international scale. Thus, groups like the FATF (Financial Action Task Force), meet regularly to develop and implement new methods to combat and adapt to new techniques of criminals. Money laundering contributes (among others) the financing of terrorism, political parties, unions, etc.. States have established various agencies and services in the fight against money laundering.

However, criminals are finding it increasingly difficult to use this method because of the guiding principles, practices and training methods advocated all over the world including the United States, Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), and in France with the French Banking Federation. Additionally strict enforcement of legislation (Monetary and Financial Code and Penal Code) along with banking regulation had made money laundering tougher to perform.

Career as a Criminal Investigator

A Criminal Investigator requires knowledge of criminal and noncriminal laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process. Additional great traits to have and skills which are a necessity to have when becoming a crime investigator is knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.In addition most criminal investigators will need a criminal justice educational background and practical on the job experience.

A wide knowledge of human behavior and performance is required. IOne must understand the individual differences in ability, personality, and interests in individuals and society. The hunger for learning and motivation is a great trait for criminal investegators. Knowledge of psychological research methods is required and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders. Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming can be helpful in this profession but is not required. As in any job, excellent communication and interpersonal skills are necissary to become a successful crime investigator. One must be able to determining scope, timing, and direction of current and old investigations. Part of a criminal investigators job is developing relationships with informants in order to obtain information related to crime cases. Examining records in order to locate links in chains of evidence or information.

Criminal Investigators must be able to identifycase issues and evidence needed, based on analysis of charges, complaints, or allegations of law violations. Obtain and use search and arrest warrants. Obtain and verify evidence through interviews and observations of suspects and witnesses, or by analyzing records. Duties can include performing undercover assignments and maintain surveillance, and monitoring authorized wiretaps. Preparing reports that detail investigation findings. Analyzing evidence in laboratories, or in the field. Collaborating with other authorities on activities such as surveillance, transcription and research. Collaborating with other offices and agencies in order to exchange information and coordinate activities. Responsibilities included: collecting and recording physical information about arrested suspects, including fingerprints, height and weight measurements, and photographs. Comparing crime scene fingerprints with those from suspects or fingerprint files to identify perpetrators, using computers. Investigating organized crime, public corruption, financial crime, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, kidnapping, and other violations of federal or state statutes.

Still more responsibilites of a Criminal Investigator are managment of security programs designed to protect personnel, facilities, and information. Recording evidence and documents, using equipment such as cameras and photocopy machines. Searching for and collecting evidence such as fingerprints, using investigative equipment. Serving subpoenas or other official papers. Testifying before grand juries concerning criminal activity investigations. Administering counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics reward programs. Issuing security clearances. Providing protection for individuals such as government leaders, political candidates and visiting foreign dignitaries.

Many criminal detectives and crime investigators spend time away from their offices conducting interviews or doing surveillance, but some work in their office most of the day conducting computer searches and making phone calls. When the investigator is working on a case, the environment might range from plush boardrooms to seedy bars. Store and hotel detectives work in the businesses that they protect.Investigators generally work alone, but they sometimes work with others during surveillance or when following a subject in order to avoid detection by the subject. Some of the work involves confrontation, so the job can be stressful and dangerous.

Some situations call for the investigator to be armed, such as certain bodyguard assignments for corporate or celebrity clients. In most cases, however, a weapon is not necessary because the purpose of the work is gathering information and not law enforcement or criminal apprehension. Owners of investigative agencies have the added stress of having to deal with demanding and sometimes distraught clients.Private detectives and investigators often work irregular hours because of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who are not available during normal working hours. Early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday work is common.

Citizens Against Racial Profiling Inc (CARP) Launchs

Citizens Against Racial Profiling Inc was recently launched by Dominick Davis to assist and advice northern Florida residence who have been impacted by Civil Rights Violations. The not for profit organization offers information, arbitration, investigation, and case specific assistance.

For more information check out Carpinfo.org

More about CARP:

Citizens Against Racial Profiling Inc was created on the belief that it’s clients needs are of the utmost importance. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat clients and referrals.

We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the industry. Citizens Against Racial Profiling Inc. (C.A.R.P.) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2008 by Duval County resident Dominick Davis, President and CEO.

C.A.R.P. offers information, arbitration, investigation, and case specific assistance to citizens of Duval, Baker, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns, Putnam, and Bradford counties. C.A.R.P. also provides assistance to State and Federal prisoners concerning Civil Rights Violations. We do not handle any criminal cases. C.A.R.P. is a ground roots community organization interested in partnering with diverse segment of our communities to improve the quality of life of all.

Short-Term Goals:
1. Establish a rapport with law enforcement, social, and civic leaders to address issues of Racial Profiling and Civil Rights Violations by police and commercial with representation and input.
a. Formation of independent civilian review board.
b. Establish direct access with law enforcement liaison in all member counties.
c. Introduce C.A.R.P. concept and recruit representatives in each county of service regional
2. Generate funding to cover administrative, logistical, and operational expenses.
3. Educate public on issues of racial profiling and civil rights violations through media, press releases, networking, and seminars.
4. Coalesce with local religious, social, and civil rights organizations.
5. Recruit community membership (outlines services, discounts & benefits offered.)

Long-Term Goals
1. Retain pro bono and/or reduced fees legal representation for =victims (clients) of racial profiling and civil rights violations.
2. Recruit corporate partners for sponsorship and business networking
3. Lobby political representatives for legislative support of C.A.R.P.’s community agenda.
4. Establish periodic “major” fund raising events.

Current Private Investigation Service Detectives and Sherlock Holmes

If the fictional Sherlock Holmes were to come alive in the twenty-first century, how much of the typical private investigation service would he recognize? What would he deduce about the state of the field, both in terms of people who have something to hide and the people who want to find them?

Criminal investigation has a long history, both formally and informally. As long as there has been gossip, there have been people who have investigated whatever allegations a cave person might have against another cave person: that guy stole my mastodon bone! Eavesdropping is as old as spoken language and it is probable that since the dawn of time some folks hid in the bushes to keep an eye on what other folks were doing. On a more formal level, investigative services arose as an alternative to policing, which did not make official law enforcement very happy at first.

In fact, the first private detective, Eugène François Vidocq, was arrested for his work. He got out on appeal. Sherlock Holmes, as a character, was created while private detective work, as a profession, was rising in popularity. Holmes’s main strategy for solving a crime was a powerful sense of logic; he could look at a series of clues and figure out a chain of events from that. Real detective work, though, competed with police work and thus developed technologies that are familiar to anyone who watches crime shows on television: ballistics, plaster shoe tracks, and even bond paper that was more difficult to be forged. All of these were created by Vidocq. Private businesses began noticing the advantage of hiring a private investigation agency. If law enforcement couldn’t catch Jesse James and his gang, then maybe the Pinkertons could.

Even today, companies hire private eyes to keep employees from stealing secrets and selling them to competitors. Preventing loss via shoplifting has become a major part of the investigative services industry currently. While police officers are legally in charge of investigating a crime scene, even Sherlock Holmes did not rely simply on the word of others about the clues. He observed the crime scene himself. Private investigators look at clues from crime scenes, especially if there might be a civil court case connected to the crime or when citizens feel a crime should be investigated more thoroughly than the police can do in a given case.

A person who is accused of a crime may hire a private detective to find evidence of someone else’s guilt. There is an art to reading the clues at a crime scene—of knowing what is a real clue and what might have been staged, being able to figure out how marks such as blood splatters or tire tracks might have been made, being able to spot the tiniest detail that is out of place and potentially a great source of information.

There is also an art to questioning people, to see the little flick of the eye that might indicate prevarication, to keep track of details to see if there is consistency across all witnesses. The need for the power of observation has not changed since the days of Sherlock Holmes. What has changed, and this is what would be very different for old Sherlock, is technology. The World Wide Web has added a new moniker to the old PI—“web detective.” The web provides a vast array of information that can assist a private eye in an investigation. For example, one can find property records, business filings, court records, property tax records, not to mention what people put on the web about themselves in social networking sites.

Instead of having to go to the county court house for dusty records in obscure boxes or run through miles of microfilm in a library, this information is a search and a few clicks away. Information searches these days are a lot more detailed than they used to be and they take far less time.

Forensic computing and forensic accounting have arisen as specialties in private investigation agencies as a result of technology. While embezzlement has taken place for as long as there has been any form of exchange of goods or money between human beings, modern embezzlement has become complex with the electronic network of banks and business. Embezzlers, of course, do their best to wipe their hard disks of evidence, but a good private eye with some hacking skills can find the smoking gun, even if it is in binary.

Computers have escalated the crime of identity theft, which has become as every day as the common cold. Here is where a private detective can really help a victim to figure out who is stealing the information and to track the chain of crimes that have been committed. Private eyes can also follow the money and help to break up crime rings that make use of false identities. Another change that would shock Sherlock is the global nature of business and relationships and therefore detective agency work. Drugs, money, goods, even people are smuggled from here to there, to avoid some law or other. Federal agents at the border can only do so much. Private detectives even work for environmental non-profit organizations to prevent the smuggling of endangered species across various national borders.

The material items a detective is working with have changed drastically since the time of Sherlock Holmes. We can do DNA tests, fingerprint identification, and use technology in so many other ways to figure out who is doing what to whom—to find and examine evidence. We can watch people with infrared heat sensing devices or even look up a picture of their neighborhood on a satellite.

The people haven’t changed. They are still cheating on each other, still tucking merchandise in their coats, still pocketing the cash, still faking the books, still running off with the kids in a custody battle, still bootlegging or selling drugs, still killing, still forging money and other documents, still trying to get you to wire them $300 so you can get the inheritance from Nigeria. And all the people affected by these activities still require the services of a private detective agency. What also has not changed about being a private detective is what Sherlock and our modern PI’s share: an ability to find the pieces and put puzzles together. This requires stick-to-itiveness and creativity. People who want to hide their activities have the motivation to explore new ways of doing so.

Investigative services continue to advance the technology of finding information in ways that Sherlock Holmes could not have predicted (although his brother Mycroft would have been a phenomenal hacker), but would nevertheless have approved.

Process to Expunge A Criminal Record

Expungement laws and expungement proceedings vary by state and jurisdiction, but in general an expungement’s definition is the same. An expungement proceeding is a type of legal action which intends to remove a criminal record, arrest, indictment, detention, conviction, or criminal investigation from ones name. In general, to start the expungement process, one must meet all of their states expungement qualifications, fill out an application (see example below), submit the application to the proper court, pay all related expunge fees, and wait for the judge/court review.

A successful expungement by a citizen will result in this particular instance of their criminal profile to be expunged. Although expungement cases are put forth to remove a criminal record, the proceeding is considered a civil action where the plaintiff is asking the count to have the incriminating records removed. It must be noted that even though a successful verdit is reached by the plaintiff in an expungement case, in some states not all of the criminal record is removed and in some cases law enforcement is still able to access the full criminal record.

Individuals filing these expungement processes may represent themselves ( appearing pro se ) or hire an attorney for representation. Besides the obvious, most individuals filing for an expungement are doing so to prevent future employers, colleges or educational institutions, business partners, or any other institution seeking personal criminal records or background checks from seeing their criminal infraction.

It is also widely known that most states perform mandatory expungement of juvenile records once they turn a certain age (17 to 18), where the criminal records are either sealed or destroyed. The goal of this juvenile expungement is to remove criminal or delinquent acts from the youths record. This allows the minor to have a clean slate as they move into adulthood, with the assumption that they had learned from their previous youth mistakes.

How does one Qualify for an Expungement?

As the law for expunging a criminal record is different from state to state, so are the qualifications to be able to file a civil expungment. I will list and explain a few expungment qualifications which are generally standard in most states. One, the expunge must have no other criminal actions interfering with the current removal request. The plaintiff must not have an excessive amount of prior convictions against him/her. Three, the seriousness of the criminal offense has an impact on the expungement request. A certain holding or waiting period must be met before filing an expungement. Any sentence given to the requestor must have been met. Six, there must not be any pending criminal proceedings or criminal investigations. The relating action was disposed with no conviction. The individual who commited the criminal act must file the expungement themselves or have their lawyer do so for them. The type of criminal conviction is also a qualification, for example in most cases, sex offenders are not eligible for expungement. And finally, in general most states require people filing expungements to have completed probation without any infractions. Here is an example of California’s Petition for Expungement (PDF)

Examples of States Specific Expungement Laws:

Below are two examples of Texas and California’s expungement rules. As you will see, some of the requirements and qualifications are the same and some are different.

Arizona Expungement Law: Arizona does not allow criminal records to be expunged. However, when Arizona criminals turn 99 their criminal record is wiped clean similar to juveniles when they turn 18.

Texas Expungement Law: Texas allows the expungement of arrests who did not result in a guilty plea or a class C misdemeanor if defendant received deferred adjudication, and completed community supervision. The release, dissemination, or use of expunged records by any agency is strictly prohibited. The plaintiff is allowed to deny their criminal offense, the relating arrest, and expungement order after a successful expungment ruling, unless under oath in the court of law. The individual is not eligible for expungment if they were found guilty, pled guilty, or pled no contest to an offense other than a class “C” misdemeanor. However, one may be eligible for a non-disclosure if deferred adjudication was granted. (ref: Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 55)

California Expungement Law: California allows anyone who is convicted of a crime to petition the court to re-open their case for dismissal. The plaintiff must complete probation, pay all fines / restitution, have not served a sentence in state prison for the offense, and not being charge for any other crime. The courts can may choose to expunge the offense if it is in the best interest of justice to do so. The result of a successful expungement in California will not erase the criminal record, but it will change the criminal record to a dismissal. After the expungement, the petitioner can legally answer to not having even been convicted of said crime, with a few rare exceptions. (ref: California Penal Code section 1203.4)

If you are interested in additional expungement information for an arrest, criminal conviction, or criminal action, it is recommended you contact a local attorney for exact expungement eligibility requirements.