The old system of storing criminal records in handwritten or typed form has been phased out, and now most agencies store records in computer database. These databases are stored at state and local levels. Every time a police agency makes an arrest, they keep a record of it, and every time a court convicts someone of a crime, they record that conviction. The public can view or search records of court convictions.
Every state keeps records of arrests and convictions that occur in that state, but each state has different rules about what crimes must be reported in its repository.
The National Crime Information Center manages a database called the Interstate Identification Index (III), which includes information on felonies (for instance, sex crimes, grand theft, or homicide) and serious misdemeanors (such as assault, drug possession, or petit theft). This database is only accessible to justice agencies in the United States, so it cannot be used for employment checks by private citizens. You would only be added to the III if the FBI has obtained fingerprint data.
Criminal records do not include traffic offenses, so there is a separate national database for serious traffic offenses. Managed by the Department of Transportation, the National Driver Registry includes information on convictions likes DUIs, fatal accidents, and lying about the operation of a motor vehicle. If someone will be driving as part of their job responsibilities, their potential employer can check this database for major traffic offenses.
Sember, Brette. “How U.S. Criminal Records Work.” 28 May 2008. HowStuffWorks.com.
If you have further questions about your criminal record, then contact our South Florida defense lawyers for more information.