Learn How to Check for Criminal Records and How are Criminal Records Collected
According to the Wall Street Journal, over 30% of Americans have an arrest record. This is a troublesome statistic as we would like to ensure that we and our loved ones are safe at all times. You may not want to enter into business with someone who has a criminal record or have criminal teaching your children. Knowing if someone has a criminal record can also be very useful when looking at potential employees, or finding a tenant for an apartment you want to rent out. It may also be useful to check if you yourself have a criminal record that is listed in order to have it removed. Thankfully it is possible to check if someone has a criminal record. This article will show you how criminal records are collected, and how to find them.
What Are Criminal Records?
Criminal records also called rap sheets or police records are files that are kept by law enforcement agencies to keep track of a person’s criminal history. Criminal records usually include information such as the last known address age and any charges and convictions. A criminal record may also include details about an arrest including mug shots, criminal charges, identifying marks, known aliases, race, height, weight and more.
Criminal records can cover any sort of crime ranging from traffic violations to assault cases, property crimes or financial crimes. Criminal records are collected on three different levels. A county level, a state level, and a federal level. The level in which a criminal record is kept is dependent on the location of the crime as well as the crime itself. For example, robbing a bank is considered a federal crime because bank money is insured by the federal government, but robbing a liquor store is a local crime and any records will be held by the state in which the crime took place.
How Are Criminal Records Collected?
From the moment someone is arrested a report is created, this is always the first thing that is included in someone's criminal record. Arrest records are created when a person is taken into custody by agents of law enforcement and contain details on the individual arrested, as well as why they were arrested, and where they were taken.
From that point on, everything related to an arrest, conviction, and release is recorded and kept by the relevant authorities While arrest records are not considered criminal records unless they were convicted of the crime they were accused of, criminal records often contain arrest records.
Various law enforcement agencies create these records and share them amongst themselves in order to have more information available for every agency and be able to deal with crime more effectively. Since the Freedom of Information Act was passed, government agencies have to release public records to anyone who asks for then.
Most criminal and arrest records are included in public records except for exceptional cases where the case is kept private this can be to protect witnesses or other people involved, or if there is a gag order on that particular case. A criminal record will also no longer be considered public if the record was expunged by a judge.
How to Check for Criminal Records?
There are two main methods of tracking down criminal records. The first way is to locate the location of where an arrest, conviction, or other criminal event took place and to check with the agency involved for the records. This can be the Sheriff’s office that conducted the arrest, or the court that convicted an individual of a crime. This method while free can be harrying and take a while to complete.
The second method is to use a background check company. Because criminal records are considered public records, many background check companies have taken advantage of the Freedom of Information Act in order to aggregate billions of public records and make them searchable to the public. Some of these companies specialize in criminal background. Here are some of the best sites to check for criminal records.
CriminalWatchDog is one of the background check companies that specialize in criminal background checks and pre-employment screening services. The company has been in business for over 15 years and has almost 465 million criminal files in its database. CriminalWatchdog offers a number of various criminal background checks such as a basic criminal check, an advanced criminal check, and an advanced plus criminal check.
The basic option will search through millions of criminal and sex offender records in order to provide you with a basic report that includes all criminal information about an individual in the US. If you would like to get more details about specific arrests like the case number and other information, you should opt for the advanced check
InstantCheckMate is a background search company founded in 2010. Its services allow anyone to look into police records, background checks, civil judgments and get contact information about anyone in the US. To use the service, you need to enter the first name and last name of the person as well as their state of residence. InstantCheckmate will then perform a statewide search to find records about the person you are searching for including criminal records, police records, mug shots, and other information. Instant Checkmate works on a monthly subscription basis, so you will have to pay a membership fee, but once you have access, you can run as many searches as you want.
TurthFinder is a San Diego-based background search company that was launched in 2015. The company offers public records searches of all kinds, including police, criminal and arrest records amongst others. Similarly to Instant Checkmate, you need to just search a name and location to see if almost anyone in the United States has a criminal record. You will then receive a report which includes contact information as well as criminal records. The service is also based on a monthly subscription plan that allows for unlimited searches.
Run a Criminal Background Check with GoLookUp.