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What Are Arrest Records?

Obtaining copies of arrest records may be possible in some states. An arrest record occurs when an individual is arrested for any type of crime. These records are formal documentation, often in written and digital form, which documents any arrests in an individual’s criminal history. When an individual is charged with a crime, the documentation begins. There is a detailed summary of the event plus information related to whether or not the individual was convicted of the criminal activity.

To find arrest records, individuals will need to search numerous resources. In most states, the records are kept at the local level where the incident occurred as well as the county and state level. The court system, police departments and other law enforcement agencies have access to the information contained on these records. This is often done through a connected database.

The information contained on arrest records will differ from one state to the next. Most commonly, these records will include any information regarding an individual’s charged and/or convicted crimes. Most states have a statute of limitations in place. This differs for each type of crime and is based specifically on the laws of that state. The statute of limitations provides a framework to determine if the arrest records remain active and valid, or if the crime occurred a long time ago and is no longer considered accessible information.

Biographical information is often a part of the criminal records found on arrest records. This includes information to identify the individual including his or her age, appearance, address and any other data that could help someone to identify the individual. The arrest records will also detail the classification of the charge and conviction. This can range from a misdemeanor charge which is often for the lowest level of charges in the state to felony charges, those considered the most severe.

The type of charge often dictates the level of punishment under the law. However, arrest records also detail information regarding the individual’s actual punishments. Since judges, good behavior and other circumstances can alter the punishment against the laws of the state, the actual sentencing and results are included on these records. This will include any fines or monetary restitution the individual must pay, the incarceration location, length of time and type of jail time and the details of any pending litigation.

For those who have arrest records, the data contained within them is considered public information in many states. Individuals can request a copy of an arrest record to ensure it contains only accurate information. This is usually done through local law enforcement. However, if there are mistakes or the statute of limitations occurs and the arrest record becomes inaccessible, an individual may wish to request an expunging of the record. An expungement erases the record from the individual’s file. This is only done through the court of law and within very strict limitations. Arrest records remain very important parts of the criminal background of an individual and must be taken seriously to ensure they are accurate.

One Response to What Are Arrest Records?

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