California Criminal Records Broken Down:
All the information listed below are detailed descriptions of the types of records accessible on this site. Open Public Records has broken down each type of conviction to help get a better understanding of what you are searching for. This includes general information on common convictions, specific information relating to the state sought, as well as links to government official sites for further information to ensure the most accurate data is provided.
California Arrest Records and Police Records:
An arrest record is a record of the suspicion of a person with or without a conviction. Police arrest records are a list of all arrest circumstances of anyone suspected of doing something against the law. California arrest records include suspects full name, date of birth, sex, occupation, physical characteristics, date and time of arrest, bail amount, booking information, facts surrounding the case, time and location of release, all charges being suspected of including parole or probation violations and outstanding warrants. For more information on criminal records in California go to the State of California Department of Justice website by clicking the link below:
California Arrest Warrants:
An arrest warrant is an official document given by an authority, from a specific state, which empowers police officials to show legal documentation in order to arrest an individual. In California, there are three kinds of warrants: an arrest warrant, a bench warrant, and the search warrant. An arrest warrant is typically issued as the result of an investigation which gathers evidence leading to probable cause, which suspects a person has committed a crime. All summons are a legal document which orders police to arrest and detain you. In California, a bench warrant is more common than an arrest warrant, typically issued when a person misses a court hearing or fails to pay a fine.
California Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies:
A misdemeanor is a minor offense, considered less severe than a felony. Like a felony, a misdemeanor charge is placed into a number based, legal system which then gets filed under a person's record, describing the severity of the alleged crime. This type of crime is usually punished by a fine and sometimes a small jail sentence. A felony will often stay on a criminal record, permanently, and can even be the result of a loss of civil rights. In California, misdemeanors fall into two categories: "standard" which typically results in a punishment of up to half a year in jail and sometimes a fine that can be as high as $1000, and "gross" or "aggravated" which typically has a consequence of up to 364 days in jail with a higher fine of $1000 or more. In the state of California, some misdemeanors can be elevated to a felony, these crimes are known as "wobblers." A felony is considered the most severe offense with crimes including but not limited to: homicide, attempted murder, escaping from prison, arson, rape and criminal damage to property.
California Sex Offender Registry:
Persons who were convicted of committing crimes involving sex, including rape, molestation, sodomy, sexual harassment and pornography production or distribution, are placed in a registry as a sex offender. Persons on the registered sex offenders list are required by law to alert the neighborhood authorities of their current address of where they reside, in order for the information to be public knowledge. However, in California, there will be a new law enforced in 2021, that allows sex offenders to be removed from registry 10 to 20 years after released from prison. For current information about California Megan's Law, click the link below:
California Serious Traffic Offenses:
These traffic violations can involve reckless driving behavior, willful disregard for public safety, driving under the influence of substances, driving without a valid drivers license, not stopping at the scene of an accident, driving without insurance, and a hit and run. Many of the violations involve the driver to be taken into custody and required to post a bail bond, just like other non-traffic crimes. California has a point system based on the severity of the traffic violation: 1 point for minor offenses such as speeding and 2 points for more serious offenses such a DUI and hit-and-runs. Depending on how many points accumulated, a high number may result in the suspension or revocation of a California drivers license.
California Conviction Records:
Conviction records are records of past and current criminal histories on individuals, stored by legal agencies. Generally, these records document why the person was arrested, when they were arrested, the date of the conviction, what it was for and the sentence imposed. In California any person convicted of a dangerous felony, who has previously been convicted of a serious crime, will receive, in addition to the sentence already imposed by the court by the present offense, an additional five-years for each prior conviction on charges brought and tried separately.
California Jail and Inmate Records:
These records include details of any current or past jail time, a detailed list of any offenses the inmate was convicted of(also known as a "rap sheet"), the sentence they received, and where they served time for the crime. When locating the correct inmate, you will need to know the inmate's full name, state they are located, and their inmate correctional number. An inmate correctional number is an ID given to each inmate and is crucial to finding the correct inmate record. By the California Department of Corrections, you can contact the Identification Unit at (916) 445-6713. Alternatively, visit the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation by clicking the link below:
California Parole and Probation Information/Records:
When someone is released on parole, he or she are allowed to serve the remainder of his or her time sentenced outside of jail in the community, under supervision, while probation is also supervised, this occurs before and as an alternative to jail or prison time. As long as the offender complies with probation conditions, they are allowed to serve their sentence out of custody. In California there are two types of parole depending on the severity of the crime, state parole is for severe high-risk offenders, and county-level supervision for the other parolees. For California, there is also informal probation, where the offender would not have to check in with a probation officer, opposed to standard probation which would entail regular checking in with a probation officer, drug testing, and sometimes community service.
California Juvenile Criminal Records:
Juveniles, who are children and adolescents convicted of a crime, are found to be labeled as an "adjudicated delinquent." This means they are not convicted the same way an adult would be, yet still have a criminal record. After becoming an adult these records can be expunged but, are not automatically erased, which is commonly mistaken. Juvenile records can be deleted if the person petitions to have them expunged. In California anyone under the age of 26 trying to seal their juvenile records, automatically get the fees waived. For more information on obtaining a California juvenile record expunged visit the website of California Courts, The Judicial Branch of California: http://www.courts.ca.gov/28120.htm
California Expunging Records:
When an expungement order is put in place, all records with information about dates of arrest and conviction must be destroyed entirely by state agencies. To expunge a criminal record in California, you will first need to obtain a copy of your criminal record which can be achieved through the superior court; then you will need to complete and submit the petition for dismissal form, CR-180. The cost for filing a petition for expungement in California can range from $100-$400, depending on location in which the request was submitted. Here is a link to the petition needed to be completed and submitted: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/cr180.pdf
California Drug Crimes/Records:
Any crime related to drug distribution, use, possession or production of certain controlled substances is considered to be a drug crime. In California cannabis has been decriminalized, but its production and distribution remain criminal offenses. Under California's Health and Safety Code 11350, all other controlled substances which are considered to be a "hard drug" are illegal in the state of California, these include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and crack.
California Employer Rights to Check Criminal Records:
In California, there are specific types of criminal records that are accessible for employers to ask about at any time during the hiring or employment process. These include arrest records, sealed records, diversion programs, certain marijuana offenses and juvenile records.