How to Lookup a California Police Record
California is a large state with many residents, and for that reason, police records tend to stack up in many jurisdictions. In many cases, attorneys and individuals do need to access these records though, and while it should be a simple process, especially if you’re looking up your own records, it isn’t always so easy.
Use this guide to learn more about California police records and how you can find the relevant information that you’re looking for. Being able to attain your own California police record, or the record of a client if you’re an attorney, is often vital. In some cases, there may even be mistakes that need to be corrected which could keep you from finding a job.
What is a California Police Record?
A California police record is a blanket term for what is generally a criminal record. However, there are other types of police records that may be related to court dates and other matters, but these are not typically referred to in this manner.
In general, a California police record is related to an individual and their arrests or dealings with the law. While California does make it possible to view these records, figuring out how to see yours isn’t intuitive in many cases. Unfortunately, calling your local precinct and asking for your information isn’t going to cut it.
Where to Find California Police Records?
In most cases, people turn to the State of California Department of Justice to obtain a copy of their criminal record. Here’s how you’ll go through the process most of the time, as well as what is involved. Many of these processes can also be taken care of in person at a DOJ office.
Obtaining Certified California Police Records
- Fill out form BC1A 8016RR. Online, this is a live scan form that is easy to submit on the spot
- Use the record review function as your type of search
- Type in “Record Review” in the reason for application box. Fill out all of the related personal information
- Take the completed form to any live scan site to get your fingerprints taken. Many police precincts will offer this service, but you can find live scan sites here to make the process easier. If you are out of state, you’ll need to submit manual fingerprint cards
Hire an Attorney to Find a California Police Record
If you’re dealing with an ongoing legal battle or you have some sort of issue with employment due to your criminal record in California, hiring an attorney to obtain your criminal record and advise you may be a simpler process. In some cases, you’ll still need to submit fingerprints, though your attorney may be able to help you with this part of the process online.
Get California Police Reports With Public Record Websites
Third party sites like SearchQuarry can help you obtain some basic California criminal records, as well as any related court documents from cases. While many records are available this way, you may not be able to get every detail of an arrest or criminal action.
The benefit of third party sites is that you’re much more likely to get information in a fast, timely manner than when you’re dealing with the state. The cost is also much lower than hiring an attorney to handle finding California arrest records for you.
Different Law Enforcement Agencies
Different law enforcement agencies keep different records, which often makes finding what you’re looking for more difficult. While getting police records, which are the same as criminal records in California through a third party site or the DOJ should give you access to different agency records, knowing who you’re dealing with is always sound.
California Law Enforcement Agencies Include
- County police departments, like Los Angeles county police.
- County sheriff’s office, like the San Diego county sheriff’s office.
- California highway patrol.
- California attorney general’s office.
- California state police.
Getting your California criminal records through the Department of Justice or a third party site will generally pull up records from all of these agencies, as well as ones that are not listed here. However, newer cases are not always in the database right away, so you may need to contact the specific law enforcement agency if you’re dealing with a recent offense or issue. Specific agencies may also have more detailed information on arrests if that is needed.
You can use the police and sheriff department finder to locate a specific office as part of your search.
In the state of California, police records are criminal records that deal with a specific person. With a full record from the Department of Justice or third party site, you’ll be able to see your arrest history and any related information to a court trial.
Getting these records, whether you’re dealing with a case as an attorney or simply want to see your own history, is your right. Use these tips to locate a California police record in a timely manner.