What defines a Criminal Record in Delaware?
A criminal record is an official document that records a person’s criminal history. The information is assembled and updated from local, county and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities. While the standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county, a large percentage of Delaware criminal records are stored in online depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report.
The amount of criminal records information presented on StateRecords.org varies from individual to individual. This is because different sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes. Criminal records in the state of Delaware generally include the following subjects:
Delaware Arrest Records
An arrest record is an official document providing information regarding a person that has been questioned, apprehended, taken into custody, placed in detention, held for investigation and/or charged with, indicted or tried for any felony, misdemeanor or any other offense by any law enforcement or military authority. In line with Delaware laws
, a person can be arrested once they commit a misdemeanor, or if they commit a felony where there are reasonable grounds to believe they committed the crime.
Delaware Arrest Warrants
An arrest warrant is an official document that is issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the local and state jurisdictions. It authorizes a police officer to arrest or detain the person or people named in the warrant. Police officers can also arrest a person for committing a crime even without a warrant
. In most cases, this occurs when the person commits the crime in an officer’s presence.
A misdemeanor is a non-indictable offense that is generally less severe than felonies. Like felonies, misdemeanor charges are categorized into classes to describe the severity of the alleged crime. These include:
- Class A misdemeanors
- Class B misdemeanors
- Unclassified misdemeanors
Depending on the offense, misdemeanors are punishable from 30 days to one year in jail. The fees can differ from $575 to $2,300.
A felony offense is a criminal conviction with a maximum sentence of more than 1 year. Felonies are served in a county jail or state prison. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. In Delaware, felonies are serious crimes
, punishable by incarceration in state prison and by a fine in any amount the sentencing court deems proper. Delaware lawmakers categorize felonies as Class A, B, C, D, E, F, or G. The penalty for a felony depends on the class of the felony from 1-year imprisonment to the death penalty.
Delaware Sex Offender Listing
A sex offender listing is a registry of persons convicted of committing a sex crime that is often accessible by the public. In most cases, jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault and sexual. Judges are given discretion as to whether they must register for crimes besides the charges listed under the sex offender registration law.
A judge may order an adult to register as a sex offender if the crime involves sexual motivation.
Delaware Serious Traffic Violation
A serious traffic violation tends to involve willful disregard for public safety, death, serious bodily injury, damage to property and multiple minor traffic violations. In Delaware, traffic ticket fines and courts costs will vary by violation and court. When you receive a traffic ticket, the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles
will add points to your driving record, which will remain for 2 years.
Delaware Conviction Records
A conviction record is an official document providing information that a person was found guilty, pleaded guilty or pleaded no contest against criminal charges in a civilian or military court. These criminal charges are classified as a felony, misdemeanor or other offenses. Conviction includes a person judged as a delinquent or has been less than honorably discharged or placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment by a pardon, set aside, reversed or otherwise rendered inoperative.
Delaware Jail and Inmate Records
Jail and inmate records are official documents of information about a person’s current and sometimes past inmate status. A person who is in jail or considered an inmate is someone who has been deprived of his/her civil liberties and is on trial for a crime, or is serving after being convicted of a crime. The Delaware Department of Corrections
maintains an inmate database that often includes information like the inmate’s name, incarceration date, expected release date, convicted offense and sometimes photos.
Delaware Parole Information
Parole records are an official document that includes information about the release of a prisoner who agreed to certain conditions before completion of their maximum sentence. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board shall need the parolee to pay a monthly supervision fee of not less than $30. This is If the board agrees to accept a lower fee after determining the inability of the prisoner to pay. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems right to ensure the interests of the prisoner and citizens of Delaware are served.
Delaware Probation Records
Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Delaware to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they follow probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. It is typically issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation will differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case. Probation typically falls into three categories: minimally supervised, supervised and intensive. Intensive probation is a form of very strict probation that emphasizes punishment and control of the offender within the community.
Delaware Juvenile Criminal Records
A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information about criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not convicted of a crime as an adult but instead are found “adjudicated delinquent.” These criminal records are often mistakenly thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.
Delaware History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
The accuracy of criminal records data depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Delaware criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the 1970s—which marked the earliest efforts to centralize and compile criminal and arrest data into an organized database much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past. However, in the 1990s, the quality and accuracy of record keeping improved exponentially due to computers. As a result, the information provided on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person.
Delaware Megan’s Law
Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and keep up a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government required all states to set up sex offender registries and offer the public with information about those registered. The state of Delaware maintains a sex offenders registry
that includes details like the offender's name, address, picture and the nature of their crime.