Arrest Dispositions 

A disposition is the result of an arrest—whether the person was charged, convicted, or acquitted.

This page is for criminal justice agencies.

If you want to challenge or find a copy of your summary review, visit Challenge of an Identity History Summary or call (304) 625-5590.

Criminal History Records 

A criminal history record, known as an Identity History Summary, includes a person’s

  • biographic and biometric identifiers
  • arrest information
  • dispositions

Agencies should submit all arrest and disposition information for each criminal arrest in the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System.

Criminal Justice Agencies’ Role in Criminal History Records 

Any criminal justice agency can submit arrest dispositions to the FBI.

Criminal justice agencies include:

  • custodial agencies
  • prosecutors
  • supervisory or parole agencies
  • courts

Criminal justice agencies should give the FBI accurate, timely, and complete disposition information within 120 days of the disposition.

States participating in the National Fingerprint File (NFF) Program must submit a single fingerprint image for each offender to the FBI. NFF Program participants control their record dissemination and maintenance. The state repository maintains arrest and disposition information, including expungement records.

Why Dispositions Matter 

Accurate Identity History Summary records are important for the administration of criminal justice, including:

  • apprehension
  • detention
  • pretrial release
  • post-trial release
  • prosecution
  • adjudication
  • correctional supervision
  • rehabilitation

Fingerprint-based background checks are also used for noncriminal justice purposes. These include employment, licensing, adoption, citizenship, and military service. For example, if an acquittal disposition is not reported, a person can lose a benefit or job opportunity.

How to Submit a Disposition 

Electronic Biometric Transmission Specification (EBTS) Types

There are two transaction types for agencies that submit large numbers of dispositions.

  • The Disposition File Maintenance Submission (DSPE) allows contributors to send a transaction with only biographic identity and disposition information. The DSPE is used to update an existing criminal event on a known Identity History Summary (FBI Universal Control Number is required).

  • The Electronic Fingerprint Disposition Submission (FDSP) contains biographic identity, disposition information, and fingerprints. If the date of arrest is not on an existing record, a new event will be created with only disposition data. If the fingerprint comparison does not match an existing record, a new Identity History Summary record will be created with the disposition information.

Disposition Message Key

The Interstate Identification Index Disposition File Maintenance Message Key allows agencies to update the Identity History Summary with disposition data via the National Crime Information Center communication lines.

Bulk File Processing via the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal

This web-based platform allows users to upload dispositions and retrieve processing results.

Final Disposition Report (R-84 Form)

This is the traditional paper reporting method. Agencies mail, fax, or e-mail the forms to the FBI’s CJIS Division.

If there is a problem with the disposition, it will be returned to the agency with a letter explaining the reason. The agency should correct the error and resubmit the R-84.

The FBI provides the R-84 forms and pre-paid addressed envelopes at no cost to agencies. Agencies may request R-84 forms online or by contacting the FBI at (304) 625-3983.

Disposition Rejections

Missing Information That Will Lead to a Disposition Rejection

  • State criminal history repository (identification bureau) stamp (if required by the state)
  • Disposition
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Charge (in literal form)
  • Arrest date

Other Common Reasons for Disposition Rejections

  • No FBI Identity History Summary established for a subject (“non-Ident”): The CJIS Division has not received arrest fingerprints for the disposition submission. No FBI summary means that the FBI criminal file does not contain a summary for the person.
  • Date of arrest not on file: No date of arrest means there is a summary, but the arrest for that disposition is not on file.
  • Charge not in literal form: Numeric arrest codes and U.S. Title Codes are acceptable only when accompanied by the literal (written) charge.
  • Date of arrest does not match
  • Not identifying appropriate disposition to the appropriate charge: If there is more than one arrest charge on the R-84, list which disposition goes with each charge. Include amended charges.
  • Illegible handwriting: Write clearly or use the online form.

Funding for Disposition Efforts

Federal grant funds may be available to help agencies improve disposition availability and reporting. For details, visit bjs.gov or ojp.gov.

More Information and Resources 

The Criminal History Information and Policy Unit of the FBI’s CJIS Division helps agencies with disposition reporting. Contact FBI-III@fbi.gov with questions or see the Disposition Task Force Best Practices Guide.

For a current copy of the Electronic Biometric Transmission Specifications, visit fbibiospecs.cjis.gov.