It is really a simple concept: If you commit a crime, you have a criminal record. That’s it. Although it sounds frightening, even perhaps dangerous, a criminal record is simply, in fact, a report on your criminal history, which details any past connection with the law. Criminal records can include; traffic offenses, drug offenses, burglary, dui offenses, disturbing the peace, assault and battery, reckless driving, endangerment, inappropriate behavior, infractions, misdemeanors, felonies and the list goes on. An arrest does not have to take place to get a criminal record.
A criminal record is never to be desired, especially if it concerns a felony conviction, but it can also contain just a simple traffic violation. Besides any felony or misdemeanor convictions, criminal records generally contain:
* criminal violations, past and present
* basic background data including name, birth date, and places where you have lived
* identifying body marks such as scars or tattoos
* names of relatives
* marriages and divorces
* property you own
* past arrests
Criminal records are public records. That means that anyone, such as a landlord or potential money lender, can perform a criminal background check on you. Some possible checks are made by companies who are about to hire a new worker. Criminal records are most used, however, by local, state, and federal authorities, usually for identification purposes or to track down a suspect in an unsolved case. Courts use criminal records to check on the background of someone who has just been charged with a crime.
When someone has been arrested for a crime and is fingerprinted and photographed, that is when the person’s criminal record begins. Years ago, this information was usually kept at the local police station, where it was sometimes misplaced as time rolled by. Today, a huge computer database stores all this information so that law agencies and others all over the country can have easy access to the data.
Could there possibly be too much data. In a recent CNS broadcast, it was stated in testimony on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers that some 68 million people in the United States are “living with convictions.” It was also noted that the figure is “more than the entire population of France.” Rick Jones of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem told the House Committee on the Judiciary Over-Criminalization Task Force that the United States is in danger of becoming “a nation of criminals.”
If you need an official copy of criminal records then you should start with Archives.gov. There you will be able to request an official copy of a criminal record. You will want to know as much information as possible and know the full name of the person, county and state in which they received the criminal record and case numbers if applicable. If you just need to verify that someone has a criminal record then a simple solution is to use online public record repositories like SearchQuarry.com