Cleary Law LLC

What Exactly Is a Criminal Record and What You Need to Know About It


If you’ve never encountered the legal system and had problems with the police, it is quite possible that you don’t know much about criminal records and how the whole system is set up. If you have no interest in it, that’s probably fine.

However, it is not unlikely that you will have some need to understand the system even if you are generally not a person who gets mixed up with the law. Reaching out to some of the best criminal defense attorneys in San Diego, we talked to people at Monder Criminal Lawyer Group and got some basic info from them.

What Is a Criminal Record?

In the most basic sense of the word – whenever a crime is committed, and a person is convicted of it, this crime is added to a list of crimes associated with that person. That is your personal criminal record. It really doesn’t matter if it is something as relatively harmless as shoplifting or something as gruesome as a murder, all crimes are added to the list. However, things get more complicated than this really quickly.

For example, who compiles this record, who can add to it, can things be removed from it, what kind of an impact can that have on your life are all questions which need to be answered if you want to grasp some basic idea of the legal system and its effect on a person.

How Does Having a Criminal Record Impact Your Life

If you have been convicted of a crime, even if you didn’t serve any jail or prison time, that crime is added to your permanent record. These records are publically available, which means that other people can access them and find out that you have a past conviction.

If you think this is an unlikely scenario, you are wrong – many employers will do a background check and if they discover a conviction in your past, they may be wary of trusting you and hiring you. The same thing applies to some landlords, who will not lease homes to people with a criminal record.

The Authorities May Treat You Differently

The criminal records are also available to the police and other authorities. After all, they are in charge of enforcing the laws. However, they are also just human, which means that they are not free of biases.

Most of us are not comfortable being around a person who has been convicted of a violent crime, even if they are not displaying any aggression at the moment, and the same thing can be said about the police and other authorities.

If they know that you have been convicted in the past, they are likely going to be a lot less considerate with you and less inclined to trust you. As the past few months in this country have shown, no matter where you stand on this issue, the police are not infallible and being aware of that can help you.

Are Criminal Records Really Permanent

Even though they are called permanent criminal records, these can still be changed. There are a few ways your conviction can be stricken from your record. Being pardoned by a governor of your state or the President of the United States is one way, but a far more common way you can get your conviction removed from your record it through expungement.

In order to qualify for expungement, there are certain conditions that need to be met, so consult a qualified criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process.

Learning more about the system that surrounds us and that we live in can help us navigate it just a bit better, so be sure to take a more active role in your society and surroundings.

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Cleary Law LLC is dedicated to providing legal services for cases including but not limited to DUI, Disorderly Conduct, and Drug Possession.

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