Massachusetts Criminal Records: How to Check and Search Criminal Records in Massachusetts
An important tenant of Governance is transparency. The disclosure of Government records to citizens is pivotal to this transparency. Furthermore, access to certain government records in the public domain helps citizens to institute their own background checks and protect their life and property from potential threats and would-be perpetrators. These background verifications may be of actual/potential vendors, clients, tenants, workers, applicants, service providers, visitors, caretakers, guardians, and so forth. Criminal records form a critical part of any background check. With the digitization of records and seamless access, citizens have been empowered to access the criminal records from the relevant Government portal in an easy manner.
In the State of Massachusetts, criminal records may be accessed online through various Government portals, namely:
2. County Public Records: The latest aggregation of all public records of a given county of the State of Massachusetts, including public records.
3. Various private or non-profit records that retrieve information from aforesaid government databases and run their business owing to unique dashboards or inter-state, inter-department aggregations. It is still safer to retrieve information from Government databases as they are the most updated, hence authentic.
The custodian of all judicial records, including civil and criminal records, the Massachusetts State Judiciary and all other Government entities are entitled to their storage and disclosure for administrative purposes only. No other Government authority can amend any judicial record.
The Public access to the said judicial records, including criminal records, is governed by the Massachusetts Public Records Law and Open Meetings Law under Section 149.43 of the Massachusetts Statutes, and hindrances to public access to prescribed Government records or violations of the said law are investigated by the Open Government Unit under the Criminal Division of the Attorney General of the State of Massachusetts.
Access and utilization of the said criminal records must be as per the guidelines of the aforesaid law and in no way infringe on Constitutional rights of anyone.
How to Access Criminal Records?
ONLINE: One can simply search for the any of the aforesaid records with an add-on keyword of Criminal Records on any browser or search engine i.e. Google, Bing, etc., and click on the link ending .gov to visit it.
The landing page of the portal is easy to understand wherein it directs the user to provide the Record number of the criminal record in question or the Name of the person whose background check is sought in the order of Last, First, Middle, and Suffix format.
If the user does not have any of the specified information, then he/she may opt for the advanced filters wherein the user may provide personal details of the person being checked and search for warrants, parties, case files, or customized general and smart search.
The user has seamless access to all criminal records, including juvenile records, misdemeanors, and felonies, until and unless the searched criminal records are classified or redacted from public domains. This may be due to any of the specific provisions that protect the constitutional right to privacy of the citizen or it is in the interest of public safety during any ongoing law enforcement activity.
OFFLINE: One has to visit a State of Massachusetts, County, or Municipal Court and request the authorized personnel i.e. the Courts Record Clerk or Public Relations Officer in writing for a criminal record. Irrespective of the mode of access, a record of the individual accessing the records is maintained by judicial authorities, with or without the specifications of his/her request for the records. It is also possible in certain cases that even the requirement for accessing the records is notified within the record.
Massachusetts Online Criminal Records Search
Another way to access Massachusetts online is to use a public records search website. Unlike the offline traditional method, with an online Massachusetts criminal records search, you do not have to fill out forms or pay for each copy that you require. Instead, all that you have to do is enter the full name/phone number/email address/physical address of the person that you have questions about.
Once the website you chose has details about a certain individual, it will begin to search for Massachusetts criminal records in the state's public records. Then, the data will be gathered in a report which you will get. These types of searches are performed in a matter of minutes, so you can get answers about people's criminal history without having to get in touch with law enforcement agencies or other official authorities in Massachusetts.