What Goes on a Criminal Record?

By Anna Green
What Goes on a Criminal Record?
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The specific contents of a criminal record may vary between jurisdictions. Some states may only include crimes for which you were committed. Others may list your arrests, pending charges, and charges that were dismissed by the court with a disclaimer stating that the subject of the criminal records check may not have been found guilty by a court.

General information

Criminal records list basic demographic information about the defendant, including his or her full name, aliases and date of birth. The record generally includes both felony and misdemeanor convictions. The criminal record will also list the date of the arrest and conviction, location of the arrest, and court in which the defendant was convicted.

Violent Crimes

Criminal records cover violent crimes, including murder, attempted murder, assault, battery, rape, and sexual assault. It will also list child abuse convictions and cruelty to animals. If a firearm was used in the commission of these crimes, it may also be listed on the defendant's criminal record. If the victim was a child, the criminal record may indicate the minor's age at the time of the incident.

Property Crimes

Property crimes are listed on a criminal record. They may include breaking and entering, burglary, larceny, shoplifting, embezzlement, theft, destruction of property, and trespassing. The value of the damage caused by the property crime may be included on some criminal record listings.

Traffic Crimes

Certain traffic crimes may be included on your criminal record. Almost all jurisdictions will include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, reckless driving, driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, and vehicular manslaughter. Speeding tickets, parking citations, and other non-criminal traffic infractions are generally not included on a criminal record.

Other Crimes

Criminal record listings will contain a list of convictions for other crimes, including drug crimes such possession of drugs, manufacture of drugs, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and public intoxication. They will also list convictions for fraud, tax evasion, perjury, contempt of court, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and disorderly conduct.

Legal Matters Expressly Excluded

Criminal records will not include listings of crimes that were expunged from a defendant's record by order of the court. It will also exclude many juvenile convictions, particularly those for which the defendant successfully completed probation or community service. Civil judgments, creditor actions, and bankruptcy matters are also not included on a criminal record.

About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.