For example, if you are charged with a DUI and booked into jail for the night, a record of this incident will be created in at least three different agencies, and likely several others too. The department employing the police officer who wrote the ticket will create a record of the stop, arrest, and citation. The jail will create a booking record. The court will create a criminal (or traffic, depending on the court) case record. The local prosecutor's office will open a case file. The police department likely will report its record to the state Department of Public Safety, or whatever agency maintains the state-wide criminal history database, which will create a criminal history record. The state agency may report its record to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which maintains a national criminal history database. That makes for a lot of records.
Unfortunately, while these agencies will often do a good job of letting all their friends know that you've been arrested or charged, they just as often to a terrible job of passing the word that your case has been dismissed, or that your conviction was set aside. That means that you are the one who must take charge of keeping your criminal record up-to-date. Whenever a positive change is made to your criminal record, inform every agency that might know of the original charge. Try to check your criminal history every once in a while to see what's there, and insist on corrections to bad information. With so many records kept in electronic databases, and with more and more information available to the public online, it is critically important to make sure that your record is accurate.