question on police record on 85p form


If there is no charge filed in any court, does that mean I have NOT ever been charged?

It asks about ARREST!

Did the law enforcement entity charge you? Arrest you? If so, it needs to be listed.

You’re instructed to list charges, arrests, or convictions for any offense except traffic fines less than $150.

In the last 7 years, have you been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any offense(s)? (Leave out traffic fines of less than $150.)

no arrest.

In the incident report, it said a charge and the case was closed. And I never get anything from the court later on. I am guessing they never filed it in the court. That’s why I am confused if I should list it or not.

Err on the side of caution, and list it.

Incident report from a police department? If so, it needs to be listed.

@watercube - Were you arrested (handcuffed and then subsequently placed in holding)? The reason I ask is that the police record question has three components to it - arrested, charged and convicted.

Also keep in mind, handcuffing someone does not mean they are under “arrest”. Police officers can place an individual in handcuffs for officer safety purposes, detention, and many other reasons related to reasonable suspicion. To add - clearly there was no probable cause to “arrest” you in the first place given the lack of criminal charges.

My personal advice: Based on your statement you weren’t charged or convicted; having said that, if you weren’t placed in handcuffs and then subsequently placed in holding I would answer “NO”. As I said, police place individuals in handcuffs quite often for reasons other than “arrest”.

Incident reports (in and of themselves) from police departments do not need to be listed on an SF-85p.

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No arrested, and no handcuffed.

My wife made a 911 call after we had an altercation. Police came and talked to me and my wife separately. Later, the police told us to stay in separated rooms for that night. Before the police left, he told me he just documented what I said and what she said. After that, I never get anything from the court. So I assume no one filed a charge in the court against me for this case.

The incident may come up during a record search.

It’s always important to remember that even if a record has been “expunged” legally, that does not necessarily mean that its existence has been physically and/or digitally removed.

@watercube - Based on your narrative, if I were you, I would answer, “NO”.

@datesnotrecalled - And if it comes up he can truthfully explain that he was not arrested, charged or convicted. I see no lack of candor issue based on the information he has given on this thread.

@watercube - Good question and topic by the way. Always remember - when you are applying for government employment, first and foremost be honest and truthful in your answers but also don’t volunteer information that is not required of you. Also remember that the investigator questioning you and the adjudicator deciding your case DO NOT have your best interest in mind - they are paid by the agency considering you for employment; thus, their loyalty rests with the government. Having said that, do not ever, ever volunteer information that is not required and could be construed as negative.


I agree.


Yes, I agree.

If I was charged, I should at least be given a chance to defend myself in the court, like a speeding charge.

I did check state and county’s court records. There is no criminal record for me. So I must have not been charged of any offenses. So answering ‘NO’ should be safe, at least I didn’t lie regarding to the question itself.

This really isn’t that difficult . . . Had you been arrested, you would have been removed from your home even if you were later released without being charged. Had you been charged, you would have, at least, received a citation on the scene (disorderly person for example.)

You were not arrested or charged. When these things happen to you, you pretty much know it.

This doesn’t not mean that the incident report will not show up at some point or that one of your references, or your wife, will not mention this or other incidents during the investigation.

I would not report it on an SF-85 but I would be prepared to address the issue and why you didn’t report it during an interview.

I would also jump in and say. Handcuffs don’t necessarily mean not arrested. I went to prison for 18 months and was never handcuffed throughout my entire process of the summons being taped to my door to walking out the front door of the prison camp my last day. If your movement is restricted, you were arrested.