Criminal record – What it is, definition and concept

The criminal record is those documents where the criminal acts of a person are recorded, being saved and filed in an official registry and where the commission of a crime is or not.

That is, the criminal record is, in short, the history of crimes committed by an individual.

These antecedents record the criminal life of the people. When a judge requests information on these antecedents, he does so in anticipation of applying aggravations such as recidivism in the necessary cases, in addition to preventing the corresponding person from being eligible for a public position or position (where criminal records are prevented).

The records are issued in the criminal record certificate. This information on the criminal acts of the person also informs about whether the sentence imposed has already been served and what the regime of the same is: deprivation of liberty, probation, etc.

At this point, it is worth clarifying that a person may or may not have a criminal record and therefore the certificates serve to prove whether the subject has ever committed a crime or has not done so. If a crime has never been committed, there is no criminal record.

On the other hand, if we refer to the concept of criminal certificates, these are not only born with the commission of a crime. Thus, when a person wants to prove that he has not committed any criminal act, what he proves is a “blank” criminal certificate, that is, without any record of infractions. And this means that there is no criminal record.

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The criminal record can be canceled, leaving no trace of the commission of that criminal act once a time set by the Law has passed.

Criminal record requirements

The necessary requirements to establish a criminal record are:

  • Having committed a serious criminal act. There is no record of minor crimes, that is, with sentences of deprivation of liberty less than a specified period (normally two years).
  • Being over 18 years.
  • Be a natural or legal person.
  • Having been convicted by final judgment. There will be no record if a person has been in a judicial process being finally acquitted or without resolution.
  • For the cancellation of these penalties, three assumptions must have been fulfilled: comply with the civil liability derived from the crime, that the necessary time established by the norm has elapsed, and no recidivism.
  • The deadlines for the cancellation of the criminal record vary depending on the seriousness of the crime committed.

Characteristics of the criminal record

The main features are:

  • These antecedents are registered under the public administration, although their consultation is private. Despite this, it does not mean that only the affected person can know about their background panels, but that the police or judicial authorities can request it, in some legislation some companies can even access them. The fact that they are private means that it is not a public consultation as it is the verification of a death in the Civil Registry.
  • These antecedents only record crimes, that is, infractions of the criminal order, do not record sentences against the injured party in relation to civil or labor jurisdiction, although they have had as a resolution the imposition of a fine.
  • The States can request them from third States in the case of a foreigner who is involved in a case in the requesting country.
  • The criminal records only record firm sentences, no writ of inadmissibility or pending appeal proceedings.
  • The certificate contains the crime committed, the penalty imposed, the degree of compliance, the court that convicted it, and the person’s data.
  • They are temporary, thus pursuing the ultimate goal of the penalties → The re-socialization of the perpetrator of a crime.
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