Sometimes, you need to perform a criminal background check to learn more about a person – especially if you’re a potential employer, landlord, or other invested party.
Read on to learn how to access criminal records.
Reasons to Access Criminal Records
Perhaps you need to review your own criminal history and discover what public information exists about your arrests, convictions, or driver’s license suspensions.
If you have a criminal record, performing a criminal record check can help you understand what potential employers or landlords might discover about you when performing a background check.
Even if you don’t have a criminal history, you still might need access to someone’s criminal records. You might need to vet a potential employee or learn more about a potential renter. You could have any number of reasons for performing a criminal background check.
Access Criminal Records Online
Searching online provides one of the quickest, simplest ways to access criminal records. You can find criminal records online via state websites and national government websites, but you can also find criminal records online via third-party websites.
When you search for criminal records online, you will likely need the following information, as it relates to the person you’re searching:
- Full name
- Address (residence or state of conviction)
Depending on which website you use, you might retrieve incomplete criminal records. For example, if you search a state website, you might not find an individual’s criminal convictions in other states. Consider relying on multiple online sources to compile your criminal background check.
Access Criminal Records from Your Criminal Defense Attorney
If you ever hired an attorney to assist you with a criminal charge, you can obtain a copy of your criminal record from your criminal defense attorney. The prosecutor in your case must provide your criminal defense attorney with a copy of your record. The criminal record provided by a prosecutor must include your complete criminal history from all state and national government agencies.
Access Criminal Records Offline
If you prefer to perform a criminal background check offline, you can.
Contact your county courthouse, state department of justice, or local law enforcement agency and ask for information. Some agencies will only provide limited information over the phone.
Also, remember that the information you receive from one agency might not constitute a full criminal background check. For example, your county might not provide information about convictions from other states. Consider reaching out to multiple agencies before completing your background check.
Have you ever done a criminal background check? Tell us about it in the comments section below.