public records search

Criminal Records



The Freedom of Information Act has provided the opportunity for individuals to know what are entailed in other people’s criminal public records.

Even though the Freedom of Information Act allows you to view criminal public records, there is some information that is not privy to you. There are some information that only Official Government Agencies, Law Enforcement Departments and the Courts can have access to and the level of access to private citizens vary per State.

The information that are most commonly searched or accessed by the Public includes major driving violations,  felony records, arrests, misdemeanors- Class A B C, records of convictions, mug shots, charges that are filed, police reports, record of the time offenders stay in prison or jail, records of individual who are in the sex offender registry. These information are considered to be public, therefore if a public records search is conducted on an individual these category would be checked.

There is a wide array of information someone can acquire as a result of a public record search. If you are conducting a detailed search the information that you might receive includes sex crimes, incarcerations, misdemeanors and felonies, other information held by law enforcement and the Court. You could however receive levels of this information depending on the State that you are in and the nature of the case. There are various ways that you can go through to acquire this record. These are by online method and from the Courts.

 Accessing your Public Criminal Records

One of the ways you can try is to visit your local Law enforcement Departments. These Departments can be the State Trooper Barracks, the Sherriff’s Office, or the Police. At these locations, you can go ahead and make a request for a copy of the criminal background. The information can be downloaded in several ways which are to your flash drive or to a CD or DVD. You would be required to pay a fee for the information if it is transferred to these storage devices. It is to be noted that all jurisdiction allow you to acquire the soft copy of the information, therefore you are advised to find out all the procedures for collecting your information upon a visit to any one of the Law Enforcement Department.

You can acquire a copy of your records from your State Agency. You can also request information relating to any driving violation that the Agency might have on you.

Another option for receiving Court criminal records is visiting the Court where the case was tried or where the conviction was made and make a request.

You are allowed under the Law to review your record and if you are not allowed to offer that opportunity, then the Court would be in violation of your civil rights. The process to acquire records at the Courts takes a longer time than the Police Department. The time frame is usually four to six weeks. There are some forms that should be completed and it is advisable to take with you your Photo Identification since that would be asked for.

A local Law Enforcement Agency can be contacted if you want to conduct a criminal background on someone, but in order for the information to be released to you, you are required to supply the date of birth, the subjects’ current address and his name. There is a fee that should be paid for this criminal background information.

You can conduct a background check on someone by the use of a Private Investigator.

Private Investigators have ways and means of acquiring up to date information, and information that could be available to you in a swift manner.

While conducting your search you may find that some records may not be shown because they have been expunged. To find out more about Expungement of criminal records go to:

Some States does not allow you to view all the details of the expunged records but it can tell you that an order for expungement was approved and for what offense.

Most criminal records are compiled by the leading consumer background check companies. This is why it is so important to get your criminal record expunged if you qualify.

You can find information on some arrest records through almost any court house in the USA.

You can go to your State’s Law Enforcement website and search for criminal records. There should be a link there. Access to the State’s public database is usually free of cost. You can also visit consolidation sites that are linked to all the States across America. These sites provide a national database of criminal records, therefore if the subject has committed offenses in other State you could also find that out.

Some of these consolidation sites offer free public records check, but with free service comes drawbacks. The paid per view sites provides more update information.

Accessing public criminal records have its disadvantages. Even though the online route is the fastest and the most convenient since you would not be going to the Court House, to the local law enforcement departments and to state and local agencies there are however some drawbacks. Online Sources may not provide you with full information such as a list of all your convictions might not be there. When that occurs the researcher would be acquiring incomplete information since some would be left out.

A list of the online database includes websites owned by private entities, state owned websites and websites owned by the government such as the FBI.

It is advisable that you do not rely on internet sources to conduct Public records search since the information may be incomplete. The local law enforcement and state departments Office locations have most recent information.

You can visit the motor vehicle department in your area to solicit information only on driving offenses.

If you have a public record for any criminal actions you should consider using to expunge and or seal your criminal records.  Everyone deserves a second chance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *