Criminal Records Search
A criminal records search can yield a lot of valuable information that is indispensable with all the safety issues in modern society. Whether you’re on the search committee for a top executive, choosing a nanny for your child or considering a get-together with someone you met online, a criminal records search can give you crucial information – and it’s easier than you might think. The best-kept secret in criminal records is that most criminal documents are public records. That means you can search criminal records on anyone in the United States, including yourself. To find a free criminal records search online you will have to search around and make sure that you’re getting accurate information. Many so called free criminal records are limited or are not up to date. It also depends on if you need to get an official copy of a public criminal record or if you just need to verify a criminal record online. The differences between these sources of public criminal information is illustrated below.
What Information Is On A Criminal Record
The so-called “rap sheet” is a list of a particular individual’s criminal offenses during a specified period of time. It could include misdemeanors, felonies, arrests, court records, sentencing records, driving records, traffic offenses and DUIs. Since criminal records are public information anyone can access these.
Free Criminal Records Search Online
There are a multitude of websites that offer a free criminal records search online however the information may vary depending on the website. Some websites specialize in criminal records where others include other public records such as civil, driving and lien records as well. As a whole online criminal records should be used for verification purposes only as they are frequently not certified copies. It is also important to verify any online criminal information found with a secondary or tertiary piece of information to insure you’ve got the right information on the right person. Many people have the same name and it can be very easy to have the incorrect information with doing this. The person’s age or address are a good way to verify this. Some resources offer free criminal records search online however you will have to search around. Most online criminal record repositories are not free.
Certified Criminal Records Search
Doing a criminal records check at a police station, sheriff’s office, courthouse or state Department of Justice is a fairly straightforward process, but before anything else, you will need to determine a couple pieces of information. A certified copy is going to be different than the free criminal records search online. It will most likely not be free however it will contain much more detailed information about someone’s criminal past.
- You need to know the state or states where your subject has lived.
- You should check state law for each state you identified to see if it requires you to search at the courthouse, police station, or the state Department of Justice.
You should check state law for each state you identified to see if it requires you to search at the courthouse, police station, or the state Department of Justice. You can use our free courthouse finder -or- free police station finder to locate an office near you.
The government office you’re going to visit may have other information and requirements, such days and hours the building is open, whether you need to bring a photo ID, and the amount of search or copying fees, if any. Look for this information online, before you go, so you won’t waste a trip.
- When you arrive at the building, go to the information desk. Ask ask them to point you to the right place for a criminal records search.
- When obtaining a certified criminal record you will most likely have to pay a nominal fee for processing and/or copies. This will vary depending on what state and agency you’re obtaining the records from.
Employment Criminal Records Search
If you are a prospective employer or landlord, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires you to use only a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) for background checks. If you don’t, there may be penalties. To find a CRA, download this list. Online public record repositories are mostly not FCRA compliant and so you will want to use a government resource or certified online resource to perform employment and tenant screening.