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Detroit Legal Blog

App Lets Dates See Your Criminal Record

Oct 19, 2016, by Maurice Davis in Constitutional Law, Criminal Defense, Legal Blog

In today’s technologically advanced dating scene, a new mobile application has emerged that allows people to check the criminal backgrounds of potential suitors, which may seriously impact the game of ex-offenders. Called “Stud or Dud,” the app searches through millions of publicly available records to determine whether an individual has previously committed any crimes before a first date ever happens.

This means that having difficulties in online dating is now among the many collateral consequences of having a criminal offense on your record. When criminal defense lawyers talk about the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, they are usually referring to:

  • The ex-offender’s ineligibility to obtain certain professional licenses
  • Felons not being able to own a firearm or hold specific jobs
  • Higher insurance rates for people convicted of DUI
  • Trouble finding housing or employment because of background checks
  • Disciplinary action from the offender’s college

Stud or Dud Attempts to Add a Layer of Safety to Online Dating

When someone meets a person on Tinder or OkCupid, he or she may request the potential suitor’s full name or email address. This is all Stud or Dud needs to conduct an exhaustive background check. While it’s always been the case that ex-offenders’ records have been public information, this new app makes it much easier and faster for people to find these records.

According to Stud or Dud’s founder, the “goal was to provide a free and fun app that made dating in the 21st century safe and transparent … Stud or Dud preserves the butterflies and excitement of the dating experience while helping users protect themselves from a potential dud.”

We Need to Stop Stigmatizing Ex-Offenders

What Stud or Dud also does is reinforces the stigma of having a conviction on a criminal record. The app encourages people to consider a potential suitor as a “dud,” just because he or she had a run-in with the law. Life is full of tough choices and people change over time. Stud or Dud robs people of their ability to explain or qualify mistakes they may have made in the past.

The situation is similar to when employers ban hiring ex-offenders. They may be afraid that ex-offenders may be untrustworthy, immoral, or violent. But evidence suggests that when ex-offenders are given a second chance, they are loyal and productive employees.

As our society becomes more digitized and connected, it will only get easier for strangers to learn about each other’s lives. This is yet another reason to fight hard to avoid a criminal conviction, even for a relatively minor offense. People are judgmental, and you may find your future dating prospects severely restricted by your criminal record.

Davis Law Group is Here to Help

As an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney, Maurice Davis knows that a criminal conviction can seriously limit an individual’s professional and personal opportunities. If you are facing criminal charges, call Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 to receive a free and confidential consultation about how we can help.

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