FBI Databases Maintain Information on Defendants Arrested for Non-Serious Offenses
It appears that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has not been doing much to identify and erase nonserious crimes that are included within their colossal database that is used most often to conduct background checks. Federal regulators, as well as a federal court order dating back to 1976, require the FBI to exclude such offenses committed by juveniles and adults from their database. Nonetheless, and whilst facing the heated opposition they continue to receive from public interest legal advocates and privacy groups, an immense amount of nonserious criminal records remain inside the directory.
Perhaps the most disturbing fact is that no one, including the FBI and federal government, know how many of these types of offenses are recorded in the database. Nonserious offenses include offenses such as disturbing the peace, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy and curfew violations.
The information that makes up the FBI database is comprised of arrest records sent from the states to the FBI. While the FBI is unable by law to include nonserious crimes from their database, states are not required to do the same. As a result, oftentimes records of all offenses that have occurred within the state are sent to the FBI, which will almost certainly include nonserious offenses. Since the FBI currently has more than 80 million people in its master criminal database – or about one out of every three American adults – it is a nearly impossible task to go through each record to sort out which ones are serious and which are nonserious.
According to experts, the difference in reporting requirements between the states and the federal government appears to be the major reason why so many nonserious offenses remain in the database. One bright spot is that the FBI only collects records of arrests when fingerprints are taken, so for those states that do not fingerprint suspects who are arrested for nonserious crimes, that information will not be included in the database.
Camden County Criminal Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Represents Those Charged with Crimes in New Jersey
If you, a loved one or someone you know has been unfairly and falsely charged with a crime in New Jersey, you need competent and seasoned Camden County criminal lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, to represent you. We have a reputation for obtaining the most positive outcomes for our clients. Call or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today.
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