The automated national criminal record is managed by an independent processing service located in Nantes and placed under the authority of the Ministry of Justice.

Headed by a magistrate who is himself placed under the authority and control of the Director of Criminal Affairs and Pardons, the CJN has around 270 agents, 2/3 of whom are mainly dedicated to computer data entry.

Its operation is governed by Articles 768 to 781 and R.62 et seq. Of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It concerns both natural and legal persons.


The criminal record establishes individual files relating to natural persons when they are the subject of:

  • Contradictory and default convictions, not subject to opposition, pronounced for felony, misdemeanor or contravention of the 5th class;
  • Contradictory or default convictions, not subject to opposition, for contraventions of the first four classes when they are accompanied by a measure of prohibition, forfeiture, or incapacity;
  • Convictions accompanied by a waiver of sentence or an adjournment;
  • Decisions relating to child delinquency, and in particular the educational measures and educational sanctions taken in application of the ordinance of February 2, 1945 (provision provided for by the law of September 9, 2002);
  • Disciplinary decisions pronounced by the judicial or administrative authority when they lead to incapacity;
  • Judgments pronouncing judicial liquidation with regard to a natural person, personal bankruptcy;
  • Judgments pronouncing the total or partial withdrawal of parental authority rights;
  • Deportation orders issued against foreigners;
  • Sentences pronounced by foreign courts which have been the subject of an opinion to the French authorities or of an execution in France;
  • Criminal arrangements whose execution has been noted by the public prosecutor.

Legal persons

With regard to legal persons, the criminal record receives:

  • Contradictory convictions, and those by default not subject to opposition for felony, misdemeanor or 5th class contravention;
  • Convictions accompanied by a waiver of sentence or an adjournment;
  • The convictions handed down by foreign courts which have been the subject of a notice to the

According to article 769, the following are also mentioned in the criminal record:

Penalties or exemptions from penalties pronounced after adjournment; pardons, commutations or reduction of sentences, suspensions, conditional releases and revocations of sentences.

Issuance and operation of the criminal record

The information on the locker can be extracted in 3 distinct forms:

  • Bulletin n ° 1 is the most complete, all the information is entered there, it is only accessible to the judicial authorities.
  • Bulletin n ° 2 is redacted from the less serious information and is only accessible to administrations.
  • Bulletin n ° 3 only includes the most serious offenses and is only accessible to the person concerned who requests it (for a job, etc.).

Bulletin n ° 1 (B1)

This is the complete statement of the criminal records. It can only be issued to the judicial authorities (prosecutor, investigating judge, president of the criminal court, children's judge, etc.). In practice, the request, which includes the civil status of the person concerned, will be sent to the magistrate in charge of the criminal record. According to articles R76 and R78-1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, bulletin n ° 1 will be issued in duplicate and sent by letter or by email to the requesting authority.

Namely: If during an investigative procedure, it turns out that a person had been convicted under a false identity, or had usurped an identity, it is up to the public prosecutor to make the necessary corrections before the closure of the information (article 778 of the code of criminal procedure).

If the criminal record contains false, erroneous or non-compliant information with the identity papers of the accused, the trial court cannot be validly seized.

Likewise, it is forbidden to leave convictions or amnestied sentences in the register.

Bulletin n ° 2 (B2)

The less serious convictions are excluded from bulletin n ° 2, article 775 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lists the information that cannot be included. It's about :

  • Decisions pronounced with regard to the minor;
  • Convictions for contraventions;
  • Sentences accompanied by a suspension that have become null and void;
  • Suspended sentences provided for in articles 131-5 to 131-11 of the penal code, ie: fine days, bans of less than 5 years, etc.

With the exception of the offenses provided for in article 706-47 Code of Criminal Procedure of the Perben Law (offenses of a sexual nature), it is possible to ask the trial court to exclude the conviction from Bulletin n ° 2.

According to article 776 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, bulletin n ° 2 for natural and legal persons is notably accessible:

  • To the prefects and public administrations of the State seized with requests for public employment, proposals relating to honorary distinctions or submissions for works or public contracts awards or with a view to disciplinary proceedings or the opening of a private school…;
  • To the military authorities for conscripts of the classes and maritime registration and for young people who request to contract an engagement as well as to the competent public authorities in the event of dispute on the exercise of electoral rights or on the existence of the inability to hold elected public office;
  • To administrations and legal persons, as well as to administrations or bodies entrusted by law or regulation with the control of the exercise of a professional or social activity when this exercise is subject to restrictions expressly based on the existence of convictions criminal or disciplinary sanctions;
  • To the presidents of the commercial courts to be joined in bankruptcy and judicial settlement procedures, as well as to the judges responsible for the supervision of the commercial register on the occasion of applications for registration in the said register;
  • To the presidents of departmental councils receiving a request for approval with a view to adoption;

Bulletin n ° 3 (B3)

Bulletin n ° 3 is only issued to the person who requests it (via a form posted on the website of the Ministry of Justice). It cannot be issued to a third party.

It only mentions the most serious convictions listed in Article 777 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, namely:

  • Sentences involving deprivation of liberty lasting more than two years which are not accompanied by any suspension or which must be executed in full by the effect of revocation of the suspension;
  • Sentences involving deprivation of liberty of the nature of those referred to above and of a duration of two years or less, if the court has ordered this to be mentioned in bulletin n ° 3;
  • Sentences to prohibitions, disqualifications or incapacities pronounced by a national court without suspension, in application of articles 131-6 to 131-11 (major traffic offenses) of the penal code, for the duration of the prohibitions, disqualifications or incapacities;
  • The decisions pronouncing the socio-judicial follow-up provided for by article 131-36-1 of the penal code or the penalty of prohibition from exercising a professional or voluntary activity involving habitual contact with minors, for the duration of the measure;
  • The sentences handed down by foreign courts to custodial sentences lasting more than two years which are not accompanied by any suspension.

Information removed from the criminal record

All records mentioning convictions erased by amnesty, rehabilitation, or corrective decision must be removed from the criminal record.

As well as the convictions pronounced for more than 40 years, since they were not followed by a new conviction to a criminal or correctional sentence, except in the case of imprescriptible facts (crimes).

Article 769 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides which convictions must be withdrawn from the register after the expiration of a certain period, in particular:

  • Convictions for contravention: withdrawn after 3 years;
  • Convictions accompanied by a waiver of sentence: withdrawn after 3 years;
  • Sanctions or educational measures pronounced against minors except in the event of a new measure or conviction: withdrawn after 3 years;
  • Judgments pronouncing personal bankruptcy, judicial liquidation or ban on management of less than five years: withdrawn after 5 years;
  • Criminal compositions (except in the event of a new composition or a criminal conviction): withdrawn after 5 years.

The foreign criminal record

As part of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, criminal records can be exchanged with member countries of the European Union.

Namely: Pursuant to the provisions of article 132-16-6 of the Penal Code, convictions handed down by the criminal courts of a Member State of the European Union are taken into account as recidivism.

The European convention on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters of 20 April 1959 provides for the possibility for any examining magistrate to obtain from the other States parties, extracts from the criminal record by letter rogatory.

Except in the case of partner countries such as: Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Poland and the Czech Republic from which the National Judicial Records Service can directly find out. the entire criminal record.

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