First Name*
Middle Name
Last Name*
Record Type
Records Pedia

What Are Police Records?

Police records provide documentation on the criminal actions of an individual. The term police record is similar in terms of use to criminal history or record. In all situations, these documents provide a way of gathering and storing information on any criminal activity an individual is convicted of or thought to be guilty of committing during an open investigation. Police records are often public information, though some states do protect information from any agency aside from the courts or law enforcement.


The information contained in police records can differ from one state to the next. In most states, the record will contain information about the crime committed. This will include information about the individual’s actions or inactions. It documents any information gathered by police during an investigation that could later be used. Police records contain the details about the conviction as well. This will include information regarding the individual’s punishments if given.


The records are gathered beginning at the local level. Police departments will create the record when an arrest occurs. The document becomes accessible, then, to all in-state police departments and law enforcement agencies as well as the judicial system. The record is available to the courts and will be updated to include all details about the conviction, including if the individual was found guilty, if the case was dropped or if a plea agreement was brought. The police records will then document the punishments given, including information on any incarceration that takes place, details on the individual’s fine payments, any probationary requirements and other details as they apply to the case.


Police records also describe the individual. Because they can be later accessed by law enforcement as a way of better understanding an individual’s background and criminal activities, these documents often contain as much information as possible about the person including age, date of birth, addresses, facial or body features that are identifying, race and Social Security information. Often, an arresting photograph is taken and added to the file. This information will also include the fingerprints of the individual once he or she is charged with the crime.


Police records are stored at the local level in document form in some areas. Many law enforcement agencies have moved to a digital system, though. This allows the information to be kept accessible to various other agencies as well. The databases in most agencies are not openly available to the public. However, it may be possible to gather information from these documents and files by utilizing an approved search tool or by visiting the local law enforcement agency to request a copy of the records.


Individuals who find errors on police records may be able to provide proof of the error and request removal. This is difficult to do in most cases. Police records can be expunged in some situations. This occurs when an officer of the court with the ability to do so legally erases the criminal record of the individual. This is very rare. In most cases, these records will follow an individual for years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright 2010-2012

All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication, distribution, or copying in any way is prohibited by law and will be prosecuted.This website is not affiliated with the United States Government or any Federal or State government agency.