Have you ever been arrested before? Well, if you have never being a state guest, then you need to pay attention to this. Once you commit or suspected of any crime in the country, the police will make an arrest.
When you get in the police custody, they are expected to create a report which will detail your criminal history and how the arrest was made.
A criminal record will be used in the court of law to show your charge sheets and your criminal record. These arrest records are stored on a file by law enforcement agencies and also authorized judicial institutions, and they can be accessed anytime when demanded.
It’s important to note that each state has its legal procedures when it comes to the arrest record, where some put the record public while others restrict the arrest record.
Content Of The Arrest Record
Arrest records will contain all the personal details of the accused person. The following are some of the information which is listed in the record:
The law enforcement agencies are expected to take your fingerprints when you get arrested. They will be included on the arrest record to enhance the identification as the case proceeds to the court of law. It's a unique identification process.
➩ Personal Names
You are expected to provide the police with the official names to be recorded in the report. Police officers are expected by law to ensure that t names that get provided are correct to avoid contradiction in the future.
Law enforcement agencies have been provided with a camera to capture the pictures of the accused and add them to the arrest records. These photographs can be used to trace the accused if any need be.
➩ Criminal Charges
Each criminal offenses should be accompanied by the charges which the police are expected to charge the accused. It will be used during the trial, and the prosecution team will be expected to provide evidence in the court. It's important to note that the accused can be charged in multiple charges on the arrest record.
➩ Social Security Number
Each person has a unique security number, and the police should include the number on the arrest record. It enhances the identification of the accused person on the court or any other places where the police may need more information.
Each person gets identified with a certain race, and this should get detailed on the arrest record. It's very crucial details that should get captured because some of the charges could be related to an illegal immigrant.
Included on the arrest records is the weight of the accused person at the time when the police arrested the person.
Police should also include on the record the accused person's height when the arrest was made.
➩ Identifying Marks
Each person has an identifying mark on his or her body, which could be used as a reference for identification.
➩ Classification Of Crime
Included on the arrest record is the classification of the case to the accused person. Depending on the crimes which got conducted, it could either classify the case as a felony or misdemeanor.
➩ Court date
It's an essential record after the arrest has been made. You need to know the date when you will be presented in the court and the ruling relating to the bail application. The preliminary court hearing will be essential for the case, and therefore, the accused person needs to know the dates.
Why Should Arrest Records Be Kept Private?
Arrest record contains essential information which relates to the person who gets accused. Some states in the country keep the record public, whereas others keep the record private. However, there are some compelling reasons as to why the record should be kept private. The following are some of the reasons which could compel the record to get denied public scrutiny:
☑ Ongoing Investigation
There are times when the police make an arrest, and they have not completed the investigation yet. In this case, the accused person will give his or her details, which will be noted on the record. In this case, law enforcement agencies will consider keeping the record private to allow the investigation to conclude.
☑ Background Checks
It is a significant concern when it comes to the arrest records. Under the background checks, it will require the person who is being checked to receive the consent for the employment. For instance, there are states which prohibit employers from considering the information which has been sealed or expunged.
☑ Sex Crimes
It depends on the states where the arrest record has been made. Whereas in some other state sex crimes are made public to allow people to review the case, others restrict the cases. There are some individual’s cases where law enforcement agencies may consider to be treated with privacy.
☑ Public Safety
If the police who are handling the accused person gets convinced that releasing the arrest record on the public will pose significant threats to the public, then they may consider restricting the record. The record will be closed and kept away from the public.
There are circumstances where the individuals who are accused may expunge or seal his or her arrest record. For instance, if the accused person has been found innocent of any of the charges which he committed as a juvenile. Also, there are states in the US that allow the state to expunge their records relating to minor offenses.
What is the Arrest Record used for?
The following are the uses of the arrest record:
- Used In The Court Proceedings - The court of law will rely on the information which has been provided on the arrest record during the trial period. For instance, during the preliminary court hearings, the judges will determine the bail, and he will rely on the record provided. Additionally, arrest records will be used to determine the sentences for the accused person on the court.
- Backgrounds Checks - It's another common use of the arrest record, which is becoming very popular in job employment. The employer will need the arrest record to ascertain if the job applicants have any criminal records.
Some people have criminal records, which could affect the company level of integrity, and therefore, there is a need for the employer to rejects such applicants.
- Used In The Identification Of Suspects By Police - The law enforcement agencies will use the arrest record to identify the suspects and also locate the suspects easily. Some cases are in the custody of the police, which hasn't been resolved, and police need to identify and locate such suspects.
Police can also use the record as an investigative tool, which would aid in further cases. A prior criminal record is very important because it could help obtain a search warrant.
- Used Prosecution Team - During the trial of the case, the prosecutor will make use of the arrest record to submit their evidence for the judge to make a ruling. These are essential documents for the prosecution teams until when the case is heard and determined by the court.
Some of the decision which will be made by the prosecution will include the bail application, taking pleas, and also prosecution which will be supported by the arrest record.
- It’s Used In Correctional Services - It's the most frequent document which could be used by the correctional services as sources of the history record by the correctional agencies. There is a need to prepare the reports for the inmates, and the reference material is the arrest record. In addition to that, the correctional officers will also rely on the information which was provided in the criminal record to make the possible classification.
- Renting Property - While renting a property, you need to have a criminal record of the renter. If you are not sure if the renter has a criminal record, then the best thing will be to obtain the arrest record. After accessing the record, you will be in an excellent position to decide to rent.
How To Clear Arrest Records?
Some cases could be cleared from your record, while others cannot get cleared. For instance, if you have been arrested due to sex-related crimes or driver license cases, then these cases cannot be cleared. Here is what you need to do to clear the arrest record:
➩ Fill Clear Record Form
The first thing which you are expected to do is to fill the court form and present it to court for the hearing. The judge will decide on whether to clear the arrest from your record. Afterward, the judge will sign the order, and the court clerk will send the order through the certified copy, after which all the records about the arrest will get destroyed.
It’s important to note that it will take a duration of between 40- 60 days for this to be effected on the law system. However, there are number law firms that usually offer the option to their clients to have updated or removing all the expunged information from the background checks.
Rights Of The Suspect After Recording Arrest Record
In the United States, suspects have their rights, which are protected by the constitution. The following are rights which the suspects enjoy after the arrest have been made:
☑ Right For Bail
It's your right to seek a bail application after the police record the arrest record. It will be determined and be granted by the judges before the trial could begin. However, this bail could be denied if the suspect could interfere with the witnesses during the ongoing investigation.
☑ Right For Attorney
Every suspect has a right to access an attorney after recording the arrest record. Usually, the arrest record contains much information that could be difficult for the suspect to interpret, and therefore, you are entitled to a lawyer who will help in the interpretation. At this time, you may be trying to delete all your records, and therefore, you need assistance.
☑ Right For A Fair Trial
As a suspect, you are entitled to faces a fair trial until when your case will be determined. The process of hearing should be unbiased, and all the witnesses should be allowed to confess to helping the judge make a ruling. At no single time, you are supposed to be subjected to unfair treatment, as this will lead to unfair treatment.
☑ Right To Equal Treatment
It's your right to be treated equally with all the parties which get presented in the court. There is a suspect whose rights have been violated in the court through unfair treatment, which could affect the suspects psychologically. The presiding judge on the case needs to ensure that all the parties to the case get enough time to make their submission or defends the case.
☑ Right To Be Informed Charges
It's your right to be informed of the charges preferred to you on the court. Arrest record contains much information, which could make it difficult for the accused to identify the charges. After the accused person gets informed of the charges, he will be able to prepare his witnesses to defend his case.
☑ Right For A Speedy Trial
Once you record the arrest record, then you are expected to be given the court date. Once the trials begin, it's expected to be heard and determined within a short period. However, the constitution does not define what is speedy trial is, but the act and also the state laws will always be used to offer guidance when rights of the suspects been violated.
An arrest record is an important police record, and therefore, the suspect should ensure that they provide accurate and honest information. In addition to that, law enforcement agencies should ensure that the rights of the suspects are not violated after the accused make a report.
Suspects should be allowed to access a lawyer who will help in the interpretation of the charges which have been preferred by the police.
More about arrests and criminal records:
Is the US a Land of Criminals?
Criminal Records Can Keep People Unemployed for Life