What is a Rap sheet? How do I read it?

A rap sheet is a record of arrests and prosecutions. Arrest events occur when a person is arrested, or when they are fingerprinted and booked.  

Each time a person is arrested and fingerprinted in Washington State, the police department sends a copy of the prints to the Washington State Patrol - WSP. All arrest fingerprints are also sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI. The FBI maintains a record of arrests from across the country. The FBI may have outdated information in their database as they rely on local police and courts to update their information.  As a result, the FBI data contains a notable amount of information with missing dispositions.