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California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS)

Nov 17, 2020 | California

What is CLETS?

California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System

In other words, CLETS is the computer network database used by law enforcement and criminal justice agencies to obtain a person’s criminal history, criminal record and driving record information. This database is maintained and updated by the FBI, DMV and other government agencies.

CLETS information is highly sensitive; therefore; only authorized personnel have access to it. The database also connects law enforcement agencies to:

  • The International Justice and Public Safety Network database,
  • The Criminal Justice Information Services,
  • The National Crime Information Center and
  • DMV Records.

These networks allow for all law enforcement agencies to have a way to communicate. Most police vehicles are equipped with a mobile data terminal that connects them to the CLETS network from the car.

What Is a CLETS Order?

If you have heard of a CLETS Order, you might be referring to different types of restraining orders. They have this name because they are entered into the CLETS database. A CLETS Order can be anything from:

  • Civil Harassment restraining orders
  • Elder abuse or dependent adult restraining orders
  • Domestic Violence restraining orders
  • Workplace violence restraining orders.

Can There Be Misuse of CLETS?

With the amount of data and information stored in CLETS, it is necessary that there are limitations to when you can access certain information. Instances of misusing CLETS can include:

  • Using the system for personal reasons, rather than official business.
  • Looking up high profile people like celebrities and government officials.
  • Abusing the system by trying to access family or friend information.
  • Abuse of CLETS is in violation of Penal Codes 11141-11143 and Penal Codes 13302-13304; making it a crime to misuse state and local summary criminal history. Felony penalties may be charged under Government Code 6200. Misuse of CLETS will result in an investigation by the DOJ and a review by the California Attorney General.

    Related Databases:

    What is CORI?

    Criminal Offender Record Information – CORI

    CORI information can also be found through CLETS. CORI is defined in Penal Code 11075 as a database of compiled records and data that allow law enforcement officers to identify criminal offenders. CORI contains information like:

    • Prior arrest history
    • Pretrial proceedings
    • Any prior criminal information such as:
      • Prior sentences
      • Prior incarcerations
      • Status of parole or probation
    • Social Security Numbers
    • Date of Birth
    • Rehabilitation program notifications

    The same penalties apply to the misuse of CORI, it may not be used for personal reasons. Misuse will also be investigated by the DOJ and the California Attorney General.