What is a criminal record?

Before we jump deep into family law issues, we think it’s important to understand what a “criminal record” is. In the UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER, PG. 931, we go into more detail about what a criminal record is and who can access it. Here is a quick summary.

Your “criminal record” is the broad term used to describe any contact you have had with law enforcement, the courts, or another part of the criminal justice system that was written down (recorded). Your entire criminal record includes: arrests (whether or not they led to a conviction), any criminal charges filed against you, convictions (felonies or misdemeanors, even if they get “expunged”), pleas, acquittals (“not guilty” findings), dismissals, sentences, periods of incarceration in jail or prison, and any other contact with the criminal justice system. BUT—and this is an important but—not everyone can see this entire record because some criminal records are protected under certain circumstances.

To learn more about criminal records, go to the UNDERSTANDING & CLEANING UP YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD CHAPTER on PG. 654.