How To Find A Criminal Record

Knowing how to find a criminal record can help you in many ways. If you are in a position of hiring employees, if you want to check the criminal history of a friend or partner, or even if you are just curious as to your own criminal record, this guide will help you locate and view any potentially damaging documents.

  1. Gather personal information. Key information includes: name, social security number, age, date of birth and current state of residence. If you are an employer, then you will already have this information in the form of an application. If you are not an employer, then ask the person for their personal information. Make sure to tell them you intend to conduct a background check and view their criminal records. It is always best to be honest.
  2. Pay for a criminal background check. There are many companies out there willing to do all the paperwork needed to obtain criminal records. Search online for companies that perform background checks for large corporations and inquire about their prices. Purchasing a criminal record should cost no more than 35 dollars, so make sure you are not being overcharged.
  3. Search public records. There are many public databases (both on and off-line) available for you to search through. Use the information you obtained in step one to determine which database to search. This will ensure that your results are accurate and that you receive the correct criminal record. Go to state or government run websites and search through their public databases. It is also important to remember that the year the crime was committed will influence the availability of a particular document. Typically, crimes committed before 1980 are not available online. In this case, you will need to contact the specific state or federal agencies to obtain physical copies.
  4. Online research. There are many websites devoted to helping people find criminal records, and some even offer their services for free (such as Public databases, such as the National Sex Offender Registry, can be utilized and searched through at any time. The important thing to remember is that criminal records exist within the public domain and are available to any interested party. It may take some time, but with a little patience you can find all the information you need.
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