Closing in On Criminal Records

Criminal records are data that outline an individual’s criminal history. Criminal records serve many purposes. One of the primary uses is for evaluation of a person’s character. Employers usually procure criminal records as a tool for evaluating the suitability of a prospective employee to their company. As such, criminal records, to job applicants, are not only factual files of wrongdoings but important determinants that can define the type of career opportunities that would be available to them.

Criminal records include a range of offenses of varying levels of gravity. The files may cover minor violations such as a speeding ticket, misdemeanors like theft or trespassing, and convicted felony crimes such as rape, murder, or kidnapping.


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Criminal records are public information that can be a source of data about an individual’s personal background, as well as details about his or her past, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Full name, age, birth date, and driver’s license number
  • Distinguishing body markings, such as tattoos, scars, or birthmarks
  • Report on any crimes or misdemeanors
  • Arrests and court warrants
  • History of your addresses of residence


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The type of information contained in a criminal record may slightly vary by county and by the state. Such information is retained on the Police National Computer (PNC) for 100 years. After such time, the record is deleted.

Michael J. Donohue is a lawyer with more than a decade of experience in criminal defense. He started his legal career as an assistant prosecutor at the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office in Media, Pennsylvania, and now runs his own law firm in Allentown. Visit this website for more on Atty. Donohue and his practice.


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