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What are Criminal Records?

Criminal records are documents of illegal behavior and their resolution through the judicial system. About one-third of all adults in the United States have some kind of criminal record, whether for a minor issue such as a misdemeanor vehicular offense or a felony like armed robbery.

In the United States, about 1 in 3 adults has a criminal record of some sort. Of these:

  • Over 850,000 are registered sex offenders
  • For the country‚Äôs 325 million residents, there are about 26 million felony convictions
  • Over a million arrests are made for DUI each year

The first step in creating criminal records is police records, which are created during an investigation and at the time of arrest. These contain names, addresses, employers, school details, vehicle data, family information, and lists of associates (work and social). Photos (mugshots) of the individual and other distinguishing marks (scars and tattoos) are included. This information is compiled so it may be retrieved and referenced by others. Not all police records are public documents, nor are they included in total in court records.

Types of Criminal Records

Criminal records document arrests and guilt or innocence for either misdemeanors or felonies. Records of misdemeanors are things like driving without a license, loitering, or failure to license a dog. Misdemeanors are incidents that are punishable by a year or less in jail, and often only incur a period of probation with fines or community service time required by a judge or magistrate. Felony records are for more serious criminal activity such as vehicular manslaughter, breaking and entering, or assault with a deadly weapon. Felonies are punishable by multiple years in prison and often followed by a period of parole.

Access Over 1 Billion Arrest Records

  • Arrest Report
  • Arrest Location
  • Warrants
  • Police Report
  • Convictions Details
  • Incarceration Details
  • Probation Records
  • Bail & Bond Details
  • Jail Records
  • DUI & DWI
  • Offender Profile
  • Offender Address
  • Drug Offenses
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Arraignment Details
  • Booking Info
  • And More...

How are Criminal Records Created

How are Criminal Records Created

Beginning with an investigation or incident report, criminal records include arrest records, mugshots, search warrants, and any other documentation that leads up to a prosecution. Felony and misdemeanor court cases are established through this thread of records. Courts and prosecutors rely on investigation records to determine if a case can go to trial, and what level of crime was commmitted (manslaughter vs. motor vehicle homicide, etc.).

Investigation records support court records for a trial but may not be available to the public as they often include details about witnesses, crimes that are considered special status due to juvenile involvement or sexual or domestic assaults, or contain other confidential information.

Court records are often summaries of proceedings, whether that involves bail or being held in jail or by electronic monitoring, the motions made by both prosecution and defense, and the judge or jury’s decision. Full transcripts of trials, including witness testimony, are often available upon request from the clerk of court’s office.

A criminal record, found during a criminal background check, generally only includes the charge and sentence, related dates, and identifying information such as the person’s name, birthdate, and address.

Local records are sent to the F.B.I. database for national reference after a person is tried. Juvenile records are exempt from this process as crimes committed by someone under age 18 are not public record and are generally sealed from view when a person ages out of the juvenile justice system unless the crime committed is serious enough to be tried in adult court.

Criminal Records Can Include:

  • Driving Records
  • Charges like Embezzlement or Criminal Fraud
  • Arrests
  • Prosecutions
  • Sentences, Parole, and Probation

Expunging Records

Expunging Records

Many states allow individuals to expunge, or suppress, certain criminal records through a special process in which a judge or committee reviews the individual’s criminal record. Expungement is allowed under limited circumstances and generally only applies to those charges that were for misdemeanor, non-violent crimes or arrests that did not result in prosecution. Expunging records is accomplished by petitioning the appropriate authority after a period of time has passed without additional criminal activity.

Although expunging records blocks their view from most people, law enforcement officials and judges may still see records that are expunged. The information in expunged records can still be used against a person for subsequent punishment (such as the “three strikes” law).


Felony Reinstatement

Many states withdraw certain rights from those convicted of a felony, including the right to vote and the right to own a gun. Individuals must petition to have these rights reinstated after a specified term has passed.


Criminal Records from

There are over 2 billion criminal records in the database where a simple search can turn up dozens of easy-to-understand reports. The databases include recent and historic criminal records ranging from criminal driving offenses to felonies. This cache of records is constantly updated and similar to that used by professional investigators and police across the country.


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