Antecedents – following the provisions of the Criminal Law in most countries, this term refers to the life history and previous convictions of a defendant in a criminal case. This information is given to the court before the sentence is given. The criminal history of the convicted plays a role in the frame of the punishment. Where there is a repetitious claim (done many times before by the same person), the jail punishment is longer.
When a person requests this information for themselves, they get a Certificate of antecedents. People usually obtain such certificates to present when applying for a new job position. Nowadays, more and more employers want to see a certificate of clear criminal record when offering work.
A synonym is “Rap sheet”