Many of the clients in our South Florida law practice have questions about criminal records and how this can impact their futures. This blog post will give some basic background on criminal records.
A criminal record contains information about a person’s arrests and convictions. Local police stations used to keep this information in handwritten or typed files, but now with more sophisticated computer databases, it is much easier for police agencies to track suspected criminals and share information about a person’s criminal activity.
Your criminal record begins when you are arrested for a crime. Usually, the person is fingerprinted and photographed along with information about the circumstances surrounding the arrest. If you are convicted of a crime, then that information gets added to your record.
An estimated 6.5% of the United States’ population has a felony record, so criminal records are much more common than many people believe. In a future post, we plan to discuss the different forms of criminal records and how the records are stored.