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Colorado Criminal Law: Understanding The Criminal History “Rap Sheet” – The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – Used to Access Background Checks

It is critical to making reasoned decisions in the Coloroado Criminal Jusrice System – to understand every facet of the process. One important link – is the way criminal records are maintained and provided to law enforcement – the governement and to provate individuals. The inner workings of the NCIC (National Rap Sheet) system is provided in this artilce. I hope it is of some use..

THE NCIC System

NCIC is a computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e.- criminal record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing persons). It is available to Federal, state, and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The purpose for maintaining the NCIC system is to provide a computerized database for ready access by a criminal justice agency making an inquiry and for prompt disclosure of information in the system from other criminal justice agencies about crimes and criminals.

This information intended to assist authorized agencies in criminal justice and related law enforcement objectives, for such things as apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen property, as well as for the protection of the law enforcement officers encountering the individuals described in the system.

All records in NCIC are protected from unauthorized access through appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These safeguards include restricting access to those with a need to know to perform their official duties, and using locks, alarm devices, passwords, and/or encrypting data communications. Users of the NCIC system are restricted to only those privileges necessary to perform an authorized task.

The FBI is authorized to acquire, collect, classify and preserve identification, criminal identification, crime, and other records and to exchange such information with authorized entities.

Data contained in NCIC is provided by the FBI, federal, state, local and foreign criminal justice agencies, and authorized courts.

Individuals covered by the system:

Wanted Persons:

1. Individuals for whom Federal warrants are outstanding.

2. Individuals who have committed or have been identified with an offense which is classified as a felony or serious misdemeanor under the existing penal statutes of the jurisdiction originating the entry and for whom a felony or misdemeanor warrant has been issued with respect to the offense which was the basis of the entry. Probation and parole violators meeting the foregoing criteria.

3. A “Temporary Felony Want” may be entered when a law enforcement agency has need to take prompt action to establish a “want” entry for the apprehension of a person who has committed or the officer has reasonable grounds to believe has committed, a felony and who may seek refuge by fleeing across jurisdictional boundaries and circumstances preclude the immediate procurement of a felony warrant.

A “Temporary Felony Want” shall be specifically identified as such and subject to verification and support by a proper warrant within 48 hours following the entry of a temporary want. The agency originating the “Temporary Felony Want” shall be responsible for subsequent verification or re-entry of a permanent want.

4. Juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent and who have escaped or absconded from custody, even though no arrest warrants were issued. Juveniles who have been charged with the commission of a delinquent act that would be a crime if committed by an adult, and who have fled from the state where the act was committed.

5. Individuals who have committed or have been identified with an offense committed in a foreign country, which would be a felony if committed in the United States, and for whom a warrant of arrest is outstanding and for which act an extradition treaty exists between the

United States and that country.

6. Individuals who have committed or have been identified with an offense committed in Canada and for whom a Canada-Wide Warrant has been issued which meets the requirements of the Canada-U.S. Extradition Treaty, 18 U.S.C. 3184.

Individuals who have been charged with serious and/or significant offenses:

1. Individuals who have been fingerprinted and whose criminal history record information has been obtained.

2. Violent Felons: Persons with three or more convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense as defined by 18 U.S.C. Sec. 924(e).

Missing Persons:

1. A person of any age who is missing and who is under proven physical/mental disability or is senile, thereby subjecting that person or others to personal and immediate danger.

2. A person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that the disappearance was not voluntary.

3. A person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that that person’s physical safety may be in danger.

4. A person of any age who is missing after a catastrophe.

5. A person who is missing and declared unemancipated as defined by the laws of the person’s state of residence and does not meet any of the entry criteria set forth in 1-4 above.

6. Individuals designated by the U.S. Secret Service as posing a potential danger to the President and/or other authorized protectees.

Authority for maintenance of the system: The system is established and maintained in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 534; Department of Justice Appropriation Act,

Purpose of the NCIC

The purpose for maintaining the NCIC system of record is to provide a computerized data base for ready access by a criminal justice agency making an inquiry and for prompt disclosure of information in the system from other criminal justice agencies about crimes and criminals.

This information assists authorized agencies in criminal justice objectives, such as apprehending fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen property, as well as in the protection of the law enforcement officers encountering the individuals described in the system.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

Data in NCIC files is exchanged with and for the official use of authorized officials of the Federal Government, the States, cities, penal and other institutions, and certain foreign governments.

The data is exchanged through NCIC lines to Federal criminal justice agencies, criminal justice agencies in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Possessions and U.S. Territories. Additionally, data contained in the various “want files,” i.e., the stolen vehicle file, stolen license plate file, stolen gun file, stolen article file, wanted person file, securities file, boat file, and missing person data may be accessed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Criminal history data is disseminated to non-criminal justice agencies for use in connection with licensing for local/state employment or other uses, but only where such dissemination is authorized by Federal or state statutes and approved by the Attorney General of the United States.

Retrievability: On line access to data in NCIC is achieved by using the following search descriptors:

A. Stolen Vehicle File:

1. Vehicle identification number;

2. Owner applied number;

3. License plate number;

4. NCIC number (unique number assigned by NCIC computer to each NCIC record.)

B. Stolen License Plate File:

1. License plate number;

2. NCIC number.

C. Stolen Boat File:

1. Registration document number;

2. Hull serial number;

3. Owner applied number;

4. NCIC number.

D. Stolen Gun File:

1. Serial number of gun;

2. NCIC number.

E. Stolen Article File:

1. Serial number of article;

2. Owner applied number;

3. NCIC number.

F. Securities File:

1. Type, serial number, denomination of security, and issuer for other than U.S. Treasury issues and currency;

2. Type of security and name of owner of security;

3. Social Security number of owner of security (it is noted the requirements of the Privacy Act with regard to the solicitation of Social Security numbers have been brought to the attention of the members of the NCIC system);

4. NCIC number.

G. Wanted Person File:

1. Name and one of the following numerical identifiers:

a. Date of birth;

b. FBI number (number assigned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to an arrest fingerprint record);

c. Social Security number (it is noted the requirements of the Privacy Act with regard to the solicitation of Social Security numbers have been brought to the attention of the members of the NCIC system);

d. Operator’s license number (driver’s number);

e. Miscellaneous identifying number (military number or number assigned by Federal, state, or local authorities to an individual’s record);

f. Originating agency case number;

2. Vehicle or license plate known to be in the possession of the wanted person;

3. NCIC number.

H. Foreign Fugitive File:

I. Interstate Identification Index File:

1. Name, sex, race, and date of birth;

2. FBI number;

3. State identification number;

4. Social Security number;

5. Miscellaneous identifying number.

J. Witness Security Program File:

K. BATF Violent Felon File:

L. Missing Person File: See G, above, plus the age, sex, race, height and weight, eye and hair color of the missing person.

M. U.S. Secret Service Protective File

N. Violent Criminal Gang File

O. Terrorist File:

P. Unidentified Person File:

1. the age, sex, race, height and weight, eye and hair color of the unidentified person.

Checking Out Your Own Criminal History

If an individual has a criminal record supported by fingerprints and that record has been entered in the NCIC III file, criminal history record information, it is available to that individual for review, upon presentation of appropriate identification and in accordance with applicable State and Federal administrative and statutory regulations.

Appropriate identification includes being fingerprinted for the purpose of insuring that the individual is who the individual purports to be. The record on file will then be verified through comparison of fingerprints.

All requests for review must be made by the subject of the record through a law enforcement agency which has access to the NCIC III File. That agency within statutory or regulatory limits can require additional identification to assist in securing a positive identification.

If the cooperative law enforcement agency can make an identification with fingerprints previously taken which are on file locally and if the FBI identification number of the individual’s record is available to that agency, it can make an on-line inquiry of NCIC to obtain the record on-line or, if it does not have suitable equipment to obtain an on-line response, obtain the record from Washington, DC by mail. The individual will then be afforded the opportunity to see that record.

Should the cooperating law enforcement agency not have the individual’s fingerprints on file locally, it is necessary for that agency to relate the prints to an existing record by having the identification prints compared with those already on file in the FBI or possibly in the State’s central identification agency.

Contesting record procedures:

The Attorney General has exempted this system from the contest procedures of the Privacy Act. Under this alternative procedure described above under “Record Access Procedures,” the subject of the requested record shall request the appropriate arresting agency, court, or correctional agency to initiate action necessary to correct any stated inaccuracy in subject’s record or provide the information needed to make the record complete.

Record source categories: Information contained in the NCIC system is obtained from local, state, Federal and international criminal justice agencies.

In Colorado – Go to Colorado Criminal History Records Check

Here is the link: https://www.cbirecordscheck.com/index.aspx?aspxautodetectcookiesupport=1


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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