If you have incurred a criminal arrests or convictions in any state or jurisdiction, it is a good idea to obtain an official copy of your criminal record. If you plan to apply for employment, lease an apartment, volunteer, or engage in certain public activities, your criminal record may become an issue. Therefore, you should obtain a copy of your complete criminal record, so that you may accurately demonstrate the nature and extent of your record, as well as for your own personal knowledge and reference.
Once you obtain the FBI record, review it carefully for mistakes or inaccuracies. For instance, your name, birth date, or social security number may be incorrectly reported. It may list convictions for crimes you for which you did not plead guilty. Whatever the issue may be, the burden to correct your official criminal record is on you.
You can challenge the record by contacting the agencies that originally submitted the information, such as the related police department, prosecutor’s office, or superior or municipal court. You should try to request copies of your charges, indictment, judgment of conviction/disposition or additional paperwork. Whenever possible, obtain a certified copies. If you believe the local records are inaccurate, you may wish to speak to an attorney regarding how to contest or amend those records.
If you believe the mistake exists on the FBI report, you may send a written challenge to the following address:
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS)
Attention: Correspondence Group
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
The Correspondence Group will contact the appropriate agencies to attempt to confirm or correct the challenged entry for you. However, it is recommended that you send as much information as possible in your written submission, especially documents showing the final outcome of your arrest. This will assist the agents in efficiently working on your case. Once the agents receive an official response from the agencies, the FBI will make any necessary changes and advise you of the outcome.
You may be able to avoid the pitfalls of having a criminal record through a process called expungement. Contact Katherine O’Brien Law to see if you are eligible under the recently updated New Jersey expungement statutes to remove the arrest and conviction information that may be denying you employment opportunities, desired housing, or the chance to participate with your children in activities. Katherine O’Brien is an experienced expungement lawyer who will give you an accurate and realistic analysis of your expungement potential.