A criminal record or police record is a record of a person's criminal history, generally used by potential employers, lenders, and others to assess his or her trustworthiness.
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The information included in a criminal record and the existence of a criminal record varies between countries and even between jurisdictions within a country.
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In most cases it lists all non-expunged criminal offences and may also include traffic offences such as speeding and drunk-driving.
In the common law legal system, an expungement proceeding is a type of lawsuit in which a first time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks that the records of that earlier process be sealed, making the records unavailable through the state or Federal repositories.
In some countries the record is limited to actual convictions, while in others it also includes arrests, charges dismissed, charges pending and charges of which the individual has been acquitted.
In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies that the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned.
In law, a conviction is the verdict that results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a crime.