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Criminal record extract: how to request this legal document?

Criminal record extract: how to request this legal document?

Le criminal record is a legal document of paramount importance. It mainly makes it possible to trace the criminal life of an individual. At some point in your life, you may need it. Why request your criminal record? How to obtain this document? Find the answers in the rest of this article.

What is the interest of the criminal record in France?

The criminal record serves as a collection of all criminal convictions and other court decisions to which a person has been subject. It may be requested during certain administrative procedures. Similarly, some public or private sector organizations require this document in the context of recruitment to attest to the candidate's good faith. If your criminal record is tainted by a conviction, it may be a hindrance to the exercise of certain professions or to obtaining certain specific documents. In the absence of a conviction, your file will be marked “NIL”.

What are the three types of criminal records?

The criminal record consists of three bulletins containing different conviction documents. The classification of its files within each bulletin is made according to the seriousness of the decision.

Newsletter No. 1

Bulletin no. 1 is made up of all the criminal convictions and decisions pronounced against a person. Of the three types of criminal records, it is the most comprehensive. Whether simple fines, the heaviest prison sentences, or deprivation of civil rights, everything is mentioned. Bulletin n°1 makes it possible to analyze the personality of a defendant and to determine whether or not he is a threat. Consultation of this file is reserved solely for magistrates, in particular the public prosecutor, judges, clerks of penitentiary establishments within the framework of the examination of files and the execution of the sentence.

Newsletter No. 2

Unlike the previous bulletin, bulletin n°2 is less exhaustive. In this file, there are only court decisions relating to convictions for crimes and misdemeanors. This file therefore does not include police fines, court decisions, suspended sentences, decisions pronounced against minors, or decisions concerning the forfeiture of parental authority.

Consultation of Bulletin No. 2 is reserved for administrative services and military authorities. Similarly, private organizations dealing with minors may have access to a person's report no. 2 in the context of recruitment. It is important to specify that the person concerned is not made aware of the request for consultation. Also, he is not informed of the elements which are registered there.

Newsletter No. 3

Bulletin no. 3 contains only the most serious convictions pronounced for crimes or misdemeanors, but also custodial sentences. Clearly, we find here the decisions having resulted in sanctions of at least two years' imprisonment without suspension, the prohibition to exercise a professional activity, a forfeiture of parental authority. This extract from the criminal record is the only one you can request.

How to obtain extract n°3 from the criminal record?

Extract n°3 from the criminal record can be obtained by any French citizen. It is now possible to apply online, for free. All you have to do is go to the Ministry of Justice website or another free platform dedicated to this cause. On these sites, you will be presented with a form to fill out. You will also need to provide proof of your identity such as a passport or national identity card. Once your criminal record request has been validated, you will receive a response by post within two weeks.

Note that it is possible to apply for a criminal record check for yourself, for your minor child, or for an adult under your guardianship.

When is the criminal record erased?

Many are unaware of it, but it is quite possible to have the mentions on the criminal record removed. And to do this, there are several possibilities.

Automatic or judicial rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is an automatic procedure that occurs after the expiry of a certain period of conviction. Indeed, your criminal record will be erased after:

  • 3 years for a conviction for a fine or day-fines;
  • 5 years for a sentence of imprisonment of up to 1 year;
  • 3 years for fines or penal compositions once they have become final;
  • 10 years for a sentence of imprisonment of up to 10 years.

It should be noted that the rehabilitation periods begin from the day you have completed your last day of detention, or paid your fine, or completed your hours of community service.


The amnesty law is a decision leading to the erasure of certain convictions from your criminal record. By this law, you are recognized as innocent of the facts for which you were tried. It should be specified that an amnesty is not individual. This decision benefits all persons who have committed one or more categories of offenses or crimes.

Exemption from registration or request for early erasure of court decisions

Apart from rehabilitation and amnesty, there are two other solutions to obtain the erasure of the criminal record. This is the exemption from registration or the request for the early erasure of convictions.

Exemption from registration

The exemption from registration is a request made to obtain the erasure of convictions from your criminal record before they are definitively pronounced. This request must be sent on the day of the judgment.

The request for the early erasure of convictions

In the event that the exemption from registration has been refused, you can send a request to the Public Prosecutor of the jurisdiction that pronounced the sentence for early deletion. This request can be made six months after the decision has become final. For it to be granted, this request must be reasoned.

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