Arizona Free Background Check
The standard practice of background check comprises verification of the proof of identity, validation of records pertaining to health and education and most importantly criminal history. Let’s just say that organizations can continue with their processes while awaiting other documents but they cannot even initiate any activity pertaining to an individual unless the law permits the same for an individual having a criminal record.
The State always focuses on rehabilitation of criminals but not by putting other civilians at risk; hence certain States are “ban the box” states i.e. where Government do not allow employers to access criminal records prior to the first interview of the individual, but the State also advises practices where disclosure of having a criminal record is mandated even before an interview. In such states, including the State of Arizona, a background check is often seen as a verification of a criminal record. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (ADPS) is the custodian and issuer of criminal records of the State and official records are stated as public records with restricted access.
Reasons to Conduct Background Check
- The record is a certified copy, validated by issuing authority with no liability on the applicant except for unintended use.
- The applicant can use it as intended i.e. a submission towards pursuance of employment, tenancy, loan, insurance, etc.
- For prescribed fees, the applicant can relax let the department work on his/her behalf to collect and certify all the information.
Unofficially, a researcher may:
1. Retrieve Data from Court Records: Court records comprise of summons, notices, court proceedings, and registrations of marriage/divorce, deeds and trusts, and appeals of individuals. The aforesaid information mentions summons, prosecution, and conviction of individuals for criminal offenses as well as those for financial disputes, civil offenses, and family matters. In some cases, court records can also provide information on driving violations and pending penalties with State and County authorities. All in all, a court record helps define, where to look next. For the State of Arizona, the researcher can access Court records from the official website of the Supreme Court of Arizona.
2. Retrieve Data from Inmate Records: Inmate records are freely accessible from the online database of the State Department of Corrections. The researched can retrieve a mug shot from the inmate record. Moreover, information about sentencing, status, and violation of incarceration, probation or parole can also be retrieved from the aforesaid records.
3. Retrieve Data From Arrest Records: It is possible that the individual under scrutiny never got convicted, but court records may hint at the existence of arrest records of the individual. If the researcher discovers a trend of arrest records, it may be possible that the individual is someone whose behavioral traits may result in future convictions or he/she may be under observation of law enforcement agencies. Arrest records can be retrieved from court records and also the Arizona State Library of Public Records.
4. Conduct a Name Search in Sex Offender Registries: A crucial part of an unofficial background check is to do a name-based search in the State Registry of Sex offenders as well as the National Sex Offender’s Registry. If the individual under scrutiny does show as a listed sex offender, the researcher can also retrieve information pertaining to the latest area of residence, as recorded by the registry.
Risks Associated with Unofficial Background Checks
- They have no legal standing and cannot be stated as a reason for the error in evaluation or judgment when evaluating the subject of the background check.
- In case of legal conflict of the evaluating entity with the subject, State or public in general, consequent to poor decisions that resulted from an unofficial verification, the entire liability falls on the said entity that made the decision and not on the subject, State or victim.
- The researcher should know limitations imposed by the protection of rights of the subject, especially the right to privacy. Hence, the researcher should conduct the verification with the utmost care and not disclose findings in an irresponsible manner. The only reason for such public disclosures has to be imminent and undeniable public welfare and safety.