Why Lookup Someone’s Criminal Record?
A criminal record can follow you for many years, making it more difficult to get a job. It can even make essentials like car insurance more costly. However, there’s more to finding a criminal record than just looking up your own.
In many states like California, you can easily look up someone else’s criminal record to help you learn more about their past. Use this guide to learn more about looking up your criminal record or someone else’s.
How to Find Out if Someone Has a Criminal Record
Finding out about a criminal record can seem like a tricky task from the outside. However, there are quite a few different avenues that can allow you to find out if somebody has a criminal record. You may also be able to obtain a more detailed report related to that criminal report.
5 Ways to Lookup Criminal Records
- Make a request at your local courthouse for your criminal record. Many local agencies allow you to get a copy of your criminal record in person.
- Use your state’s website to obtain copies of your criminal records. From their web portal you’ll likely be able to obtain a copy of your record. States like California, New York and many more offer this service online.
- Use a third-party website to obtain a criminal record. These services do charge a fee, but they can make checking a criminal record easier since you won’t have go through a variety of government agencies on your own.
- Perform a simple online search to find records about an individual. Know that what you find online may be inaccurate or incomplete at best. For a more serious search, you’ll need to work with an agency.
- Hire an outside agency to perform a background check on a potential employee or tenant. Consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) are typically used to perform these searches.
What is Included in Someone’s Criminal Records
A criminal record is a document that’s used to record convictions through local, state and federal agencies. Someone’s criminal record can contain a variety of different charges, and in many cases, your criminal past may not have too much impact on your life.
However, as a criminal record grows, it can be much harder for that individual to obtain employment or succeed financially. You’ll often hear of someone’s criminal record referred to as a rap sheet as well, though this is not the correct technical name for a criminal record.
Different Types of Criminal Records
- Driving and traffic infractions like DUI or driving with a suspended license. These may also include moving violations.
- Drug possession, including marijuana possession and possession of a controlled substance.
- Assault, aggravated assault or assault that causes bodily injury.
- Theft and check fraud.
- Domestic violence or assault against a family member.
- Sexual assault or lewd conduct charges. Individuals on a sex offender registry will also show up when you are performing a criminal record search.
There are a variety of crimes and infractions that will be placed on your criminal report after a conviction. They range from very serious to very common with varying levels of impact. The above list is a small example of what might be included in someone’s criminal history.
More serious crimes like arson, rape or murder will also appear on a person’s criminal record. These serious felony charges will remain on an individual’s record for a lifetime in most cases. Other charges may fall off a person’s criminal record in a certain amount of time based on the crime or infraction and the state they were committed in.
Criminal Records Are Public Record
Obtaining someone’s criminal record is not supposed to be a complicated issue. In fact, it’s important to remember that criminal information are actually public records designed to help keep employers and individuals informed.
While it may take some legwork on your part, obtaining a criminal record for yourself or others is possible and completely legal. You just have to do it within the legal parameters of the state and federal system in which you live.
Why Someone’s Criminal Record is Important
A criminal record can provide valuable information for employers looking to hire individuals for their company or team. Being able to obtain a criminal record on this individual makes it much easier to learn about who you’re hiring. This is particularly important for positions where a new hire may deal with money or sensitive company material.
Criminal records can also be used in custody cases and by the court system. You or your attorney may also want to obtain a criminal record report to prepare for a case or handle a legal matter.
Whatever the situation, knowing how to obtain a local, state or federal criminal information is essential. It may seem confusing, but many records requests can be handled online through government agencies or third-party companies that specialize in these reports.