If you are like most people, you’ve never looked at an arrest record report. This may make it difficult for you to understand what is important and what is less important in the report. After all, sometimes people come in contact with the law in a very minor way, while in other cases the situations are considerably more grave. For that reason, we thought we’d talk a little bit about what you should look for in an arrest report.
The first thing is to check whether a given arrest has led to a conviction. During an investigation, police often detain multiple suspects. Simply because someone was arrested does not mean they were guilty of the crime. It could just mean that the police wanted to question them, or they were a minor suspect. However, if they were convicted of the crime itself then that means the courts believed they were guilty.
The second thing to look at is the type of crime charged. For example, if someone has many domestic violence arrests but no convictions, this should be a red flag. Domestic violence cases are rarely prosecuted because the victim refuses to press charges. But a pattern of domestic violence arrests is also a major red flag.
It is also important, if someone is on the sex offender registry, to look at what charges led them to be put on the list. You can become a registered sex offender for any number of non-violent reasons. For example, some people have been put on the list for public urination. In other cases people have been put on the list for taking sexy photos of their partners when both were teenagers. These cases are different than when someone is charged with sexual assault.
Finally, you should check and see if the person did time in prison or jail. Being incarcerated changes people; even if they were locked up for very minor charges, they may have learned how to be a more dangerous criminal by the time they get discharged.