Talk:Criminal record

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Phony information[edit]

Brazil identity card DOES NOT contain any information regarding a person criminal background, it's completely untrue and in the article it gone uncited and unverified.


Terrible article.

1) Implies official rap (record of arrests and prosecution) sheets are inaccurate and not admissible in court for that reason. I suspect the confusion comes from dealing with commercial "private eye" sources on the internet. Those ghastly Hodge podge assemblies by private companies are NOT really rap sheets but simply dumps of internet data searches of names and locations. I would not be surprised at extensive arrest contamination from people with similar names as their bots walk the public Internet because other identifying information is omitted from fully public records.

1a) Official rap sheets are compiled with complete access to identity information such as social security numbers and FBI fingerprint database identifiers etc. Its possible for identity thieves to put traffic tickets etc against your name if the drivers license passes. But DLs are increasingly being scanned for matching photo info. In any case charges resulting in jail stays usually mean fingerprints which stops identity theft. Official rap sheets are purely for assisting police in sorting out most likely suspects and district attorneys in deciding what sort of plead bargains to make when evidence is good.

1b) Prior arrests or convictions are not admissible in criminal court except for sentencing or special charges such as racketing where the crime itself is about being a career criminal. Otherwise US courts treat prior crimes as irrelevant to new charges and potentially distracting from actual evidence and testimony. Evidence rules are pretty much out the window at sentencing time in most states so yeah rap sheets may well be examined. But you have a really bad defense attorney if your rap sheets are allowed in a normal criminal trial before conviction (almost like you begged for it).

2) Says official rap sheets are not available to public. Wrong. There is no reason to withhold Rap sheet as it has all been published in newspapers before. But it is true that some3 police may be suspicious, busy and otherwise reluctant to provide that info. If so file a Freedom of Information Act sheet.

2a) However Rap sheets viewed by LEOs are often supplemented by additional separate attached info (not properly part of rap sheets) and notes that may not be open to public view. This may include open cases where they are suspects or evaluations of personality or likely concealed weapons or habits or martial arts/combat skills. Basically warnings to keep cops alive and to help make successful arrests. If notes are federal files it may be classified or otherwise declared inaccessible to FOIA with Congressional or Court signoff. Other notes maybe purely local and not obtainable at state or federal level via FOIA request to those levels. In any case this more detailed info while of interest to LEOs is NOT part of the rap sheet which is limited to Record of Arrests and Prosecution.

There really is not any question of accuracy or public access although courts may purge certain information after request.  Court records for adults are public records and normally do not require freedom of information requests except for details of crimes involving national security. Results of prosecutions are drawn from public court records. Prosecutors or LEOs in the US publish arrests in newspaper records (though details may be left out especially for ongoing investigations and privacy of victims etc).  Rap sheets are usually purged of juvenile offenses once majority is achieved either by specific request to state courts or automatically in some states. Judges may also sometimes purge shoddy arrests for adults particularly where LEOs are at high risk of lawsuits for false arrest. Further juvenile arrest records which do not result in prosecution before juries are often limited to the local courts or judge with actual jurisdiction. Juvenile prosecutions (successful or not) are normally purged when juveniles become adults...unless sentences last into adult years (very severe sentences).  70.114.136.69 (talk) 05:41, 26 July 2017 (UTC)[]

Untitled[edit]

It may be incorrect that the "rap" in rap sheet comes from Record of Arrest and Prosecution. The word "rap" went from an imitation of the sound of a sharp blow, to a sharp knock, to a figurative meaning of "sharp criticism. But as early as the 18th century "rap" was used by thieves and law enforcement officials to mean a criminal charge or punishment. By the 20th century it had made it into everyday speech, as in "beat the rap," "bum rap" and "take the rap." "Rap sheet" probably reflects this use of rap. See OED and Word Detective for sources. Lawmom1954 16:01, 6 July 2007 (UTC)[]

This article is not factually correct. For example, criminal records in Texas are permanent. Court records in Wisconsin are freely viewable and searchable regardless of disposition. 165.91.166.186 21:38, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree that this article is inaccurate - it states that "only those who have been convicted of a crime may be accurately described as having a "criminal record", which is not correct in so far as the UK is concerned - see Police National Computer. lmno 12:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)[]
    • Actually it is accurate as far as the UK is concerned. It is true that arrests without conviction do go on the Police National Computer, but so do a lot of other things (e.g. being reported as a missing person). PNC records are NOT "criminal records", and should not be described as such. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.241.199.124 (talk) 13:52, 8 August 2008 (UTC)[]

It's not accurate in the United States either. I'm going to take some time to put in information about the Police National Computer and the CPIC in Canada. BlueGoose 03:20, 18 March 2006 (UTC)[]

Does blacklist really apply to criminal records? 70.191.174.29 12:35, 21 June 2006 (UTC)[]

I completely rewrote the first half of the article to add a more detailed explination of what a rap sheet is. I also deleted the Controversy and Alternatives sections because they are not relevant to describing what a rap sheet is. The Controversy section talked about background checks, not rap sheets; and the Alternatives section talked about what people who fail background checks can do for other employment. None of those are directly relevant to the topic of compiled criminal histories. I also expanded a great deal on Triple-I's, and edited references to police officers. A better term is Law Enforcement Agency, since cops aren't the only ones who use rap sheets. Prosecutors, Sheriff's deputies, corrections officers, and others use them on a daily basis. I relied entirely on my own personal experiences with Triple-I's, state, and local rap sheets for the article. I will try to add references as soon as I can find them. The NLETS website does provide a good deal of info, too. --68.105.50.50 04:16, 1 July 2006 (UTC)[]

CriminalWatchdog.com has been repeatedly adding a link to their commercial site at the top of external links. This page gets a prominent place in Google and thus is likely to be attractive to spammers. Eschulma 14:43, 23 March 2007 (UTC)[]

Articles from a Private Investigator[edit]

[1] - This article has interesting information pertaining to this topic. I see the notice under no more external links and to add to discussion to see if appropriate. What is the best way to determine if content of this nature is appropriate (if at all)? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Thx2 (talkcontribs) 04:22, 16 April 2007 (UTC).
That's an article on a pay site, and not all that deep. Links to primary sources such as the FBI, or non-profits with significant information would be relevant. Eschulma 13:25, 7 June 2007 (UTC)[]

Definition[edit]

The very first sentence states: "A criminal record is a list of past crimes an individual has been convicted of." Is that really the case, that crimes under investigation or crimes, which have led to accusation but no conviction are not part of the criminal record? --Sir48 (talk) 13:19, 10 December 2007 (UTC)[]

There seems to be a lot of ambiguity about this. I think the definition of "criminal record" varies between countries, and even between different states of the US. Consider this statement form the website of a New York criminal defence lawyer: "...the simple fact that you have been arrested does not mean that you have been convicted of anything. An arrest is not a conviction. An arrest does not give you a criminal record. The only way you can ever get a criminal record is if you are convicted of a crime after a trial or if you plead guilty to a crime." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.241.199.124 (talkcontribs)
The differences seem to be between (at least) the US and the UK, maybe someone can point them out in the lead - the rest of the article makes that distinction. --CliffC (talk) 12:48, 21 April 2008 (UTC)[]

Redirect[edit]

The first sentence in this article reads "This article is about the crime term. For the record label, see Criminal Records," yet that URL links right back to the same page. For my part, "Criminal Records" is an Atlanta, GA institution—record store, record label that is well-entrenched in the music and comedy communities there. I don't know how to suss out who made the redirect, but I suggest this article pick a lane, either way. o0drogue0o 18:39, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Definition[edit]

wagwan tho blud? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.19.52.47 (talk) 15:28, 28 September 2013 (UTC)[]

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Section swap[edit]

I believe that the section about criminal records in Greece and the section about criminal records in Germany should swap places for alphabetical order purposes. Xboxsponge15 (talk) 15:51, 17 October 2019 (UTC)[]

I agree. I just wonder whether there is a better way to lay out this article so that it isn’t an indiscriminate list of the laws in many individual countries. Maybe it would be better to organize it by world regions or continents. Larry Hockett (Talk) 03:27, 19 October 2019 (UTC)[]