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What is a Rap Sheet?

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

A rap sheet is defined as a list of a person’s arrests and convictions which includes all felonies as well as misdemeanors. This information is compiled by government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice. With this, law enforcement officers are able to look up a person’s information to determine whether or not a suspect has any criminal history of active warrants. For this reason, a rap sheet is extremely confidential.

Have something problematic on your rap sheet and need representation now? Call the Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners today!

Who Can See My Rap Sheet?

Since rap sheets are considered highly confidential, it is unlawful to release these documents to the public. Of course, a person wishing to see their own rap sheet it permitted to do so. Many people often ask to see their rap sheet to ensure the documented offense are accurate.

Here is a quick list of the other persons permitted to see an official rap sheet:

  • Law enforcement officers
  • Judges
  • Prosecutors
  • Defense attorneys working in connection with the case
  • Peace officer agencies reviewing an application
  • State government agencies reviewing agencies
  • Local government agencies reviewing job applicant
  • State licensing agencies

Can Employers See My Rap Sheet?

Unless a person has applied for or already works for a government agency position, his/her rap sheet cannot be reviewed by an employer. Therefore, when an employer says they are running a criminal background check, they are unable to view your official rap sheet.

Instead, they are viewing public records which list a person’s convictions and active charges. So then, these have been prepared by outside companies that view public records and compile these details. As a result, these pieces of information are not as extensive and accurate as those found in a rap sheet.

How Can I Clean-Up My Rap Sheet?

Oftentimes, people with current criminal records wonder what they can do to have prior convictions removed. Although this situation is tricky, there are a few things that a person can do to “clean-up” their rap sheet.

Here are some of the things that can help your rap sheet look better:

  • Expungement: Although an expungement will not completely remove a conviction from your rap sheet, it will show that the conviction has been dismissed. For charges that can be considered a misdemeanor or felony, the charge must be reduced to that of a misdemeanor before it has the ability to become dismissed.
  • Obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation: While this option is much harder to achieve, it is possible for some criminal offenses. Once this certificate is granted, a person must apply for a governor’s pardon.
  • File a motion under California Penal Code Section 851.8 PC: While this is extremely difficult to obtain, it is possible in very few cases. In this case, the arrest record and charge would be completely removed from the person’s record.

If you are currently facing or have faced criminal conviction in the past, is extremely important that you speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rap sheet is as clean as possible.

The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners understand the tough situations that can stem from a rap sheet. They work hard to give you the representation you deserve.

To make sure your rights are protected, call the firm today at (213) 481-6811!

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