How to Get Rap Sheet (Criminal Record)

How to Get a California Department of Justice RAP Sheet (LiveScan)

To receive the best legal advice from our Speed Screening Interview, we encourage clients to bring a recent RAP sheet. Getting a copy of your criminal history report (RAP sheet) is the first step to clearing your criminal record.

Follow the steps listed below to obtain learn how to obtain your rap sheet. 

  1. Contact SJSU Record Clearance Project to make an appointment for a Free/Low-Cost Live Scan or Contact Any LiveScan Provider [pdf]

Wednesdays by Appointment 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

MacQuarrie Hall Room 521, San Jose State University

Call 408-924-2758 or email to schedule an appointment.

  1. Items to Bring: Photo Identification: CA drivers' license, CA DMV identification card, or out-of-state drivers' license. If you don't have one of these forms of ID, you can contact our office regarding other accepted identification.


$25 cash (exact change) for the Department of Justice fee.


Proof of Inability to pay. Live Scans are free to those who are unable to pay. You can prove inability to pay by bringing either paystubs or proof of government assistance. Proof of government assistance includes CalWORKS, MediCal, disability insurance, housing assistance, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or unemployment benefits

  1. The Department of Justice will mail your Live Scan results to you in approximately 5-10 days. 
  2. Bring your RAP sheet to a speed screening event for a free RAP sheet review.

Each client will be interviewed to determine eligibility and next steps towards expungement. If no court hearing is required, we can help you complete necessary forms. Court representation is beyond the scope of speed screenings.

For upcoming speed screening dates see our home page


How to Read a California Department of Justice RAP Sheet (LiveScan)

After LiveScan fingerprinting, you should receive your RAP sheet in the mail within 10 business days. 

Information on how to read a RAP sheet is at here [PDF].

RAP sheets usually are twice as long as you might expect.  That’s because they list all arrests and all convictions, meaning the same information gets listed at least twice.

•    RAP sheets list all charges, not all convictions.  Many charges are dropped.
•    RAP sheets include every time a person is fingerprinted, including when someone applies for a job where fingerprinting is required, like working at a school or working with the elderly.

A RAP sheet includes:

1.    Arrests and Detentions.  These are when someone is held as a suspect in a crime but not prosecuted.
2.    Convictions.  A conviction is a determination that someone is responsible for a crime.  Convictions come after a plea or following trial.
3.    Dismissed charges are not pursued in exchange for a plea or dismissed by a judge.
4.    Drug diversion or Deferred Entry of Judgment (DEJ) is offered for some drug offenses. If a person successfully completes a diversion program, there is no conviction and it is as if the arrest never happened.
5.    Probation violations or modifications are listed on a RAP sheet when someone violates the conditions of their probation or probation is modified in some way.
6.    Fingerprinting done when people apply for professional licenses.

In California, most jail convictions can be dismissed.  All AB 109 (“realignment”) cases can be dismissed.  As of January 2018, most state prison cases can be dismissed if they would be sentenced to county jail under current law.